ZANZIBAR: TANZANIA on Tuesday granted national citizenship to over 3,300 immobile migrants, reminding them to abide by the country’s rules and regulations.
Zanzibar President Dr Hussein Mwinyi, presiding over a brief certificate issuance ceremony at Vuga-based State House said, “…for sure you have the obligation to sustain your obedience to the laws and refrain from crimes.”
He challenged the 3,319 new Tanzanians, some of whom were born in the country before independence, to cooperate with all Tanzanians in protecting and sustaining the country’s peace and tranquility for the benefit of present and future generations.
President Mwinyi assured the new Tanzanians of all rights and privileges as other citizens, asking them to grab opportunities and rights that come with their citizenship for their family and national development.
Dr Mwinyi equally directed government and private institutions to accord the new citizens all the support they will need as per the laws, regulations and guidelines.
He asked all immobile migrants in the country to report to the immigration department for registration, saying the union and revolutionary governments are determined to end the historical problem of immobile migrants.
Dr Mwinyi asked the Immigration Department to improve the existing laws, citing the Immigration Act, which he said needs reviews to enable it cope with various challenges that haunt citizens and foreigners entering the country.
Home Affairs Minister Engineer Hamad Yussuf Masauni expressed excitement over the government decision to address what he described as a chronic problem to “our brothers and sisters.”
He said the new status will provide the beneficiaries with wide scope to participate in the nation building. “I’m happy to witness the end of this problem; it was a serious annoyance to our people,” said Minister Masauni.
Zanzibar Minister of State, Second Vice-President’s Office, Policy, Coordination and House of Representatives Hamza Hassan Juma described the scrapping of 2m/- fee per person as a gesture of kindness to the new citizens.
Under Tanzania’s laws, foreigners pay 2m/- fee for citizenship. That means the government has forfeited 6.6bn/- from the 3,319 new citizens.
“This is a substantial amount that could have constructed three storey secondary schools,” said Minister Hamza.
Immigration Department Commissioner General Dr Anna Makakala said the department has introduced an electronic system for “secure printing of certificates for these citizens to keep their records.”
She said there are still people who live in the country without official identity, calling for all foreigners to report to the department for registration and identification.
Yesterday’s certificate recipients include 676 men, 768 women and 1,675 children from Mozambique (3,116 people); Comoros (147); Burundi (five); and Rwanda (one).