Taskforce to Work on Dual Citizenship Unveiled
A taskforce has been set up to harmonize laws on citizenship and related provisions under the new constitution. The team of 16 was unveiled by Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang’ on 11th January, 2011 at an inauguration ceremony held at Nairobi’s Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC).
Speaking during the launch, Immigration and Registration of Persons Minister Otieno Kajwang’ said the anticipated dual citizenship was now a reality. “Kenya is keen on benefiting from its citizens in Diaspora without necessarily locking them out once they acquire another country’s citizenship. Dual citizenship has now become a reality and the provision has been well received.” said the Minister.
The taskforce, chaired by Mr. Mumo Matemu, an accomplished lawyer, has the task of collecting public views including those of Kenyans in Diaspora. It will develop consensus on proposals limiting the effect of constitutional provisions on the descendants of Kenyan citizens born outside Kenya, voluntary renunciation, statelessness, citizen’s entitlements and refugee management.
It is also the mandate of the taskforce to examine the Births and Deaths Registration Act Cap. 149, Registration of Persons Act Cap. 107, Kenya Citizenship Act Cap. 170, Immigration Act Cap. 172, Aliens Restriction Act Cap. 173 and Refugees Act of 2006 laws of Kenya and identify the areas of conflict with the new law.
The new law says persons can reacquire their citizenship by application unlike before when people automatically relinquished their citizenship by acquiring another country’s citizenship.
The minister instructed the taskforce to diligently perform their duties and forward the proposals and recommendations in six months.
Speaking during the inauguration ceremony, Immigration PS Emanuel Kisombe urged members of the taskforce to consult widely in order to achieve their objective. “Wide consultations through research and studies will enable the taskforce to achieve the desired results. The use of established communication methods such as focus groups, face to face interviews and the use of our ministerial website will go a long way to make the task ahead a success” he said.
Other members of the taskforce are James Omondi Opundo (vice-chairman), former nominated MP Josephine Sinyo and the former chairman of Kenya Association of Manufactures (KAM) Arun Devani, a nominee of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA). Other members are Ruth Bolline Aluoch, Caroline Achieng Oduor, Margaret Chepng’etich, Lucy Njeri Njihia, Stephen Kokonya, John Muiwa Kinyumu, Omar Abdallah Dhadho, Paul Dume Mwangemi, Lucy Wangari Karanja, Caroline Oshuru Oyula, Nicholas Ongeri Maronda and Susan Nyawira Karuga.