Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's office is working on proposals to change the country's citizenship laws which have been used to disenfranchise millions of voters. Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, Gordon Moyo, confirmed they were already working on a policy document that will be submitted to cabinet for consideration.
The move is likely to see tens of thousands of Zimbabweans in the diaspora being able to keep their Zimbabwean citizenship, despite having been granted citizenship elsewhere. Current laws prohibit dual nationality.
In 2003 Mugabe's regime also used an amendment to the Citizenship Act to disenfranchise white Zimbabweans of European origin and thousands of black Zimbabweans of foreign origin, mostly working on the farms. Both groups were viewed by the regime as being supporters of the then opposition MDC.
In an interview with the Zimonline news site Moyo said "all we are saying is that let's discuss about these issues. There are a lot of children who were born out of the country and acquired citizenship of their resident countries but they are also Zimbabweans who have lost their citizenship because of the dual citizenship law."
Moyo also said their policy document would explore different ways in which Zimbabweans in the diaspora could participate in the economy, including having their voting rights restored.
Attempts by the unity government to encourage Zimbabweans to return to help rebuild the country have been falling flat. A promise of dual citizenship could encourage some of them to return.
But in the absence of any real resolution to the various outstanding issues in GPA, analysts say efforts at encouraging the diaspora to return were doomed to fail. Continued harassment of the MDC, marked by a selective application of the law, has torpedoed any efforts to market the country as a safe destination for returning exiles.