Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

For country or love? Mangwana, Mthuli Ncube must put money where mouth is

17 May 2020 at 15:22hrs | Views
Let's be honest, at law there is nothing wrong in individuals acquiring dual citizenships.

Even the Zimbabwean constitution has not said anything untoward about multiple or dual citizenships except that individuals can only acquire dual citizenships if they are Zimbabwean citizens by birth.

Previously, the Citizenship of Zimbabwe Act of 1984 prohibited dual citizenship. Then came the Constitution of Zimbabwe ( No .20) Act, 2013 which brought in a new dispensation in this legal area by allowing dual citizenship thereby decriminalising dualism.

The Constitution as the highest law of Zimbabwe overrode the Citizenship Act that has since been aligned to the Constitution.

According to Tich Muhonde of Muhonde Attorneys and Law Firm, upon acquiring dual citizenship a person is not required to renounce their foreign citizenship to excercise their Zimbabwean one.

This was set as a principle of law by the Zimbabwe Courts in the case of Mutumwa Dziva Mawere vs. The Registrar. The courts granted Mawere was first a Zimbabwean by birth and was entitled to dual citizenship and had no need to renounce his South African citizenship before he was given a Zimbabwe National Identity document.

The move affirmed a constitutional recognition of dual citizenships.

Interestingly, there is an ongoing online hullabaloo petitioning the British government to withdraw the British citizenship for Nick Mangwana who happens to be the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services.

In the last count, the effort by Zimbabweans globally has been galloping towards 4000 signatures.

Mangwana' s sin is being part of a government led by President Munangangwa that is largely seen shamelessly trampling on human rights.

According to opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, there have been about 49 abductions in recent memory tagerted at opposition operatives and activists in civil society that have not brought forward any perpetrator to book by police authorities.

The latest abductions this week puzzled the world when three women were subjected to a shock attack in the middle of the night with their breasts fondled and genitalia sexually assaulted with gun barrels shoved up anal passages by unknown men.

It is macabre and preposterous that a government can go to such lengths to silence women.

People are tired and want Mangwana' s  UK ties cut off like an umblical cord. He is among the faces that speak for the government together with Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa and her Deputy Energy Mutodi.

Previously, there has been people in top posts in government with ties to other countries like former Information Czar Professor Jonathan Moyo who is married to a Kenyan wife.

There was former Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira who held two passports and also had UK properties.

On the other hand, contemporary Minister of Finance Mthuli Ncube is said to have ties with Switzerland where his wife and children are based.

Reportedly, he flies back and forth occassionally to be with them, the hallmark of a dedicated family man.

However, concerns have been raised on how these junkets are footed from forex- starved government coffers.

It is no secret that getting proper and legit identity papers in foreign countries is a Herculean task that is as rigorous as it is draining both financially and time.

It is a case of different strokes for different folks. Some get citizenships in various countries through marriage, business, parentage, work or study.

But curiously when a country has people with hearts elsewhere to serve at the top, would it not compromise their intergrity when it comes to issues pertaining their favoured surrogate nationalities?

Alternatively, dual citizenships have proved to be a blessing in disguise. In the case of Professor Moyo, his Kenyan connection served as a bulwark when he fled via Mozambique on motorcycle at dusk enroute to Kenya when Munangagwa' s hounds bayed for his blood in the wake of the November 17 military-assisted coup  that toppled longtime strongman Robert Mugabe from decades at the helm.

Professor Moyo was deemed the chief architect of the Generation 40 faction within Zanu- PF that sought to align itself with Grace Mugabe as she incrementally became ' The Chosen One' to take that baton of political leadership from her frail husband Mugabe then.

Nevertheless dual citizenships the world over have been know to provide loopholes for tax evasions ,  criminals running away from justice, human  trafficking and international terrorism as well as posing challenges in immigration management.

Citizens choose to hate Mangwana the man simply because of the Munangagwa government he defends.

Inasmuch as he too deserves the best life has to offer, he cannot continue to toil in a system that has bankrupted the economy, bringing untold suffering to the masses while enjoying the luxury of being an international citizen.

Mangwana revels in the comfort that if anything ghastly happens to the country or its leadership, he too can grab a suitcase and ride into the sunset just like a cowboy in Western movies.

Citizens can see the half- hearted approach to the welfare of the citizenry in some of his tweets, the half-baked lies and the condescending attitude defending the indefensible.

The final straw came this week in his public letter chronicling what transpired when Joana Mamombe, Netsai Marova and Cecelia Chimbiri of the MDC-A went missing from a  'flash demonstration' for food,  he effortlessly and curiously ommited how the National Police spokesman Asst Comm Paul Nyathi had confirmed the arrest-cum abduction.

The man hoist himself by his own petard and vultures are circling. It remains to be seen how he wiggles himself out. But honestly, no man should preside over a part of government he is half-committed to.

An online petition of this kind is a litmus test on how effective is social media when it terms of playing a watchdog role in society. In South Africa, during the ongoing lockdown to fight off coronavirus,  President Ramaphosa had lifted the ban on the sale of cigarettes but the move was revoked in no time after an online petition garnered thousands of uncontested votes for the ban.

However, a dual citizenship remains a constitutional right and yet a window of opportunity to exit the stage when the political roof crumples down which it surely does at some point in time.

Mangwana, Mthuli and Co should literally read graffiti on the walls. For country or for family is their choice. At law, they can tread even where Angels fear. In the court of public opinion, the jury has spoken- put your money where your mouth is.

Josiah Mucharowana is a media graduate and writes in his personal capacity. feedback:

Source - Josiah Mucharowana
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.