Source: NewsDay (Harare)
WHILE the passing of the new constitution by the House of Assembly this week, was seen by many as a foregone conclusion, it has brought hope to thousands of Zimbabweans who were for long regarded as aliens in their country of birth.
Report by Nduduzo Tshuma
Denied their right to vote and facing difficulties in obtaining identity documents, Zimbabweans of foreign origin felt unwanted, but there was little they could do.
A low blow for the so-called aliens came ahead of the 2002 elections, where President Robert Mugabe described them as “totemless” people.
But with the passing of the new constitution, the hitherto aliens will for the first time be viewed as Zimbabweans and will be allowed to vote.
In a survey conducted by NewsDay, some Bulawayo residents expressed relief at the passing of the new constitution, saying it restored their nationality.
“My parents are from Malawi, but I have never set foot there, I was born and bred here, did my education here, only to be labelled an alien and that was unfair,” Patrick Langwana said.
“As it is, I do not have a passport, even a Malawian one, because even there I am an alien. In other words, I was stateless.”