The government of Malawi has revoked the citizenship of 230 Rwandan nationals, alongside other individuals, bringing the total to 396, due to concerns over suspicious acquisition of naturalization papers. The announcement was made by Malawi’s Minister of Homeland Security, Kenneth Zikhale Ng’oma, this week.
Confidential sources within the government revealed that the group of 396 individuals comprises 230 Rwandans, 101 Burundians, and 65 individuals from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Additionally, it has been disclosed that another list of approximately 1,000 individuals, currently identified as asylum seekers in Malawi, may also have their citizenship revoked.
This decision follows the Malawian government’s ongoing investigation into Fulgence Kayishema, an alleged participant in the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi, who managed to acquire a Malawi passport under a false identity between 2017 and 2018, using the name Positani Chikuse.
The revocation of citizenship aligns with the country’s legal framework and is aimed at maintaining public order and security, in accordance with the court ruling in the case of the Republic vs Uladi Mussa and others (Criminal Case Number 2 of 2017), as emphasized by Minister Ng’oma.
Patrick Botha, the Ministry’s Public Relations Officer, revealed that law enforcement agencies will collaborate to ensure the prompt deportation of the affected individuals, in adherence to the law. Minister Ng’oma’s leadership intends to review and nullify Malawian citizenship for individuals who failed to follow the prescribed legal procedures for obtaining citizenship.
The specific details regarding how these individuals acquired their citizenship remain undisclosed, as well as the potential consequences they will face following the revocation. However, this action underscores Malawi’s commitment to granting citizenship exclusively to those who meet the required criteria, as reported by local media.
Meanwhile, the government of Malawi, supported by its security agencies, is actively locating and detaining refugees and asylum seekers lacking proper authorization to reside in the country. Presently, Malawi hosts approximately 53,000 refugees and asylum seekers, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.