Mutharika has been elected to a second term in office with 38.5% of the vote.
The incumbent leader, 78, had faced stiff competition in the
21 May election, including from his 2014 running mate Dr. Saulosi Chilima who
came in third with a little over 20% of the total vote.
The result was announced on Monday after an injunction
ordered by the country’s high court was lifted.
second time Challenger Lazarus Chakwera, who finished in
second place, had sought to delay the results because of concerns over voting
The head of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), Jane
Ansah, appealed for calm ahead of the announcement.
The MEC say President Mutharika, who heads the Democratic
Progressive Party (DPP), gained a narrow victory by about 159,000 votes.
Mr Chakwera, from the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), came
close behind with about 35.4% of the vote. He had also placed as runner-up five
President Mutharika’s deputy, Saulos Chilima, finished in
third place – winning just over 20% of the ballot. He had earlier said his name
was initially not on the electoral register when he turned up to vote.
Malawi President Peter Mutharika has assented to the amendment to the Citizenship Act which now provides for dual citizenship law in the country.Speaker of Malawi Parliament Richard Msowoya disclosed the development on Tuesday during announcements to the House at the start of the Mid-year Budget Review Meeting in Lilongwe.
Msowoya told the house that among the Bills that were sent to the President to assent, the Dual Citizenship has been given the nod.The new law repeals Sections 8 to 11 of the Citizenship Act which dealt with citizenship of children born outside Malawi, loss of citizenship if a person acquires another citizenship other than by marriage and loss of citizenship by a Malawian woman who marries a foreigner unless she denounces her other citizenship.
It allows for dual citizenship for Malawians with government’s hope of improving socio-economic activity among Malawians.
For children born in the diaspora, the repeal of Section 7, which obligated them to denounce their country of birth upon reaching 21 years, would enable them to reconnect with Malawi better as opposed to being treated as foreigners and applying for visa’s in a country of their parents’ birth.Leader of House Kondwani Nankhumwa disclosed that Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe will make his statement on Friday, March 8.It is anticipated that the budget could be cut by as much as MK32 billion from the recurrent expenditure and about MK28 billion from the development budget to make up for the MK60 billion that the World Bank has not disbursed but was factored into the budget.
Nankhumwa said the programme for the budget meeting would remain traditional with Tuesday and Thursday mornings catering for questions to ministers for oral replies and Wednesdays for committee reports.The two-week meeting is the final for the current cohort of Parliament ahead of the May 21 Tripartite Elections.
The budget review meeting runs from March 5 to 18.
MALAWI CITIZENSHIP: Citizenship is based upon the Malawi Citizenship Act, dated July 6, 1966. Every person who was a citizen of Malawi before July 6, 1966, continues to be a citizen of Malawi. (UKC-Commonwealth Nation)
BY BIRTH: Birth within the territory of Malawi does not automatically confer citizenship. The exception is a child born of unknown parents.
BY DESCENT: Child born in Malawi, on or after July 6, 1966, whose father or mother is a citizen of Malawi and is of African race.
Child born abroad, on or after July 6, 1966, one of whose parents is a native-born citizen of Malawi of African race. BY NATURALIZATION: Malawian citizenship may be acquired upon fulfillment of the following conditions: Person is of an African race or has Commonwealth or Malawian ties, has resided five years in the country, has adequate knowledge of the English language, intends to reside permanently in Malawi, and will renounce previous citizenship. (Aliens without the national ties must have resided for seven years.) MALAWI DUAL CITIZENSHIP: NOT RECOGNIZED.
Exception: Child born abroad, who obtains citizenship of country of birth, may maintain dual citizenship until age 21, when the person must renounce the other citizenship within one year or Malawian citizenship will be revoked. A citizen of Malawi, age 22 or older, who obtains new citizenship through other than voluntary means (for example, marriage) has one year to declare a desire to retain Malawian citizenship or it will be revoked.
MALAWI LOSS OF CITIZENSHIP:
VOLUNTARY: Voluntary renunciation of Malawian citizenship is permitted by law. Contact the Embassy for details and required paperwork. INVOLUNTARY: The following are grounds for involuntary loss of naturalized or registered Malawian citizenship:
Person exercises rights or privileges of another country.Citizenship was obtained through fraud or false statements.
Person has been arrested and imprisoned within seven years of citizenship.
Person has shown disloyalty or treason against Malawian government.
Person has been resident outside Malawi for seven years or more without proper registration with Consulate.
President Mutharika orders Justice Minister Tembenu to work on long awaited dual Citizenship Legislation
Dual Citizenship is a “status long sought by Malawi diaspora but was not recognized in the law” until now it may be soon be as it is being reported that Malawi President Dr. Peter Mutharika has asked Justice Minister Samuel Tembenu to draft legislation that would allow Malawians to have dual Citizenship.
The Malawi President himself a byproduct of the Diaspora has always understood the need for Diaspora to enjoy the Benefits such a status provides.
According to reporting, Malawi President Peter Mutharika told the state controlled Malawi Broadcasting Corporation that the ministry of Justice is currently working on the legislation which will enable Malawians hold dual citizenship.
The President said he will deliver on the promise he made in Parliament and also when he addressed Malawians in DC during the first few months of his Presidency. Peter Mutharika If successful will be the one President to deliver after many before him promised but never followed through.
“We are currently drafting the legislation, very soon we will have the legislation. This will be possible because we want Malawians in diaspora to come to Malawi,” he said.
On the country’s economy, President Mutharika said although the kwacha has stabilized, the inflation and high interest rates remain high.
“We are working on these,” said Mutharika.
He could however not give a definite answer as to when exactly the economy is expected to be back on his feet.
However, he said the government is luring more investors as way of giving dosage to the sick economy so that it can recover.
The Advantages of Dual Citizenship
Benefits and privileges. Dual citizens can receive the benefits and privileges offered by each country. For example, they have access to two social service systems, can vote in either country and may be able to run for office in either country, depending on the law. They are also allowed to work in either country without needing a work permit or visa and can attend school in either country at the citizen tuition rate.Dual citizens enjoy certain benefits, such as the ability to live and work freely in two countries, own property in both, and travel between the countries with relative ease. There are drawbacks, however, including the potential for double taxation, the long and expensive process for obtaining dual citizenship, and the fact that you become bound by the laws of two nations.
Because dual citizenship is complex and the rules and laws regarding citizenship vary from one country to the next, be sure to consult with qualified experts, including tax accountants and experienced citizenship lawyers
For now, many in the Diaspora are relieved that President Peter Mutharika has started to follow through on a promise he made to the Diaspora upon assuming the Presidency