Botswana: Ministry to Investigate Matshelagabedi

Francistown — The Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, Mr Ngaka Ngaka, has resolved to send officers to Matshelagabedi to investigate a citizenship issue affecting some residents.

This was after it emerged during a kgotla meeting he addressed in the village recently that some residents did not have Omang because they had dual citizenship.

The minister said it was clear that most people residing along the border such as those of Matshelagabedi had not renounced citizenship of other countries.

However, he said those who were resident in Botswana before independence were not required to apply for citizenship because they were considered Batswana.

Mr Ngaka did the same in Etsha 6 exercise in the Okavango Sub-district because most of the residents were from Angola, while those of Matshelagabedi were from Zimbabwe.

On other issues, Minister Ngaka explained that it was not a guarantee that if a person had stayed in Botswana for the stipulated period, they would automatically get citizenship, adding that such people were required to have a residence permit before applying for a Botswana citizenship.

He said the Citizenship Act requires that a person residing in Botswana should have a residence permit for a period of five years and thereafter one could be given a second permit for another five years upon request.

The minister said such a person would therefore be eligible to apply for a citizenship.

He decried the increasing rate of gender-based violence (GBV) saying it was a serious threat to the country's reputation of democracy, good governance, peace and stability.

Minister Ngaka said Botswana's good image, as a symbol of democracy worldwide, was being tarnished by the high GBV rate.

He said cases of murder, domestic violence, rape and other criminal offences were unacceptable.

Still at the meeting, Mr Ngaka told the residents that children holding dual citizenship were required by law, to renounce one on attaining the age of 21.

He also appealed to the residents who have registered for this year's general elections to exercise their constitutional right and vote for the government of their own choice on October 23.

In his welcome remarks, Kgosi Oganne Palson of Matshelagabedi complained about the failure of the residents to attend kgotla meetings.

He said there were a lot of children in the village without identity cards because of their dual citizenship, whilst many had not renounced their citizenship.

Therefore, he said a lot of people failed to benefit from government programmes such as Ipelegeng, whilst others would not be able to vote in this year's general elections.

Source : BOPA

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