Citizenship of Zimbabwe Advisory Note No. 5
Citizenship of Zimbabwe by birth for persons born abroad upheld by the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe!
Today we were in the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe for a determination of a matter concerning the citizenship status of persons born abroad to parents who were citizens of Zimbabwe at the time a person was born.
The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe heard oral legal argument in the case of Neha Patel v Registrar General of Zimbabwe & 4 Ors Case No. SC.888|18 being an appeal from a decision of the High Court of Zimbabwe.
At the end of the hearing, the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe upheld the appeal by consent of the Government of Zimbabwe;
The judgment of the High Court of Zimbabwe which had dismissed the Appellant’s application to be declared a citizen of Zimbabwe was set aside.
The Appellant was declared a citizen of Zimbabwe by birth with all the rights and entitlements of such a citizen including but not limited to a citizen identity card and a Zimbabwe passport;
The Government of Zimbabwe was ordered to pay the costs of the initial application in the High Court.
The decision is significant in the following ways:
- It reaffirms the legal position that dual citizenship is allowed in Zimbabwe for citizens by birth in general, and more importantly even for citizens born abroad as long as the parents were citizens of Zimbabwe and ordinarily resident in Zimbabwe at the time of birth;
- Any and all persons who ‘lost’ or have otherwise been denied their citizenship of Zimbabwe by birth and the right to dual nationality, a Zimbabwe ID and or passport because they were born outside of Zimbabwe now have a legal remedy to restore and continue their citizenship of Zimbabwe;
Dated at Harare on this 24th June 2019.
Inserted as a public service to the citizens of Zimbabwe at home and abroad.
TAFADZWA RALPH MUGABE|LEGAL COUNSEL
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