Dual citizenship shocker for Diaspora
By Chris Wamalwa in USA
Kenyans in the Diaspora who acquired citizenship of other countries before the promulgation of the New Constitution must apply to regain Kenyan citizenship.
The Constitution Implementation Commission Mr Charles Nyachae told a meeting attended by Kenyans living in Canada that majority of them assume that they regain citizenship due to the Dual Citizenship clause
"According to the constitution, the moment you acquired citizenship of another country (before August 2010), the operational piece of the constitution kicked in and you automatically lost your Kenyan citizenship making you a "foreigner" in your own country," said Nyachae, chairman of CIC.
Nyachae urged those in the Diaspora to apply to re-gain your Kenyan citizenship.
He also disclosed that it will be a crime for any Kenyan not to disclose, within three months, to the Kenyan government that they have acquired citizenship of another country.
The CIC chairman said one will be liable to a jail time if they are caught in Kenya and a fine of up to Sh5 million.
"We urge Kenyans living in Canada to take a keener interest in some of these developments because a criminal record for instance can mess up somebodyfs life," said Mr Simon Nabukwesi, Kenyan High Commissioner to Canada.
Majority of Kenyans living abroad who acquired citizenship of the countries where they are settled before the "dual citizenship" kicked in have always assumed that they can go back to Kenya and run for elective government positions.
Many have shown interest in running for parliament, senate and even county positions.
"The reality is that such persons do not qualify as the law says you lost your Kenyan citizenship. You must first apply to re-gain your Kenyan citizenship and then wait for a period of 10 years before you can run for elective government position in Kenya," said Ben Ondoro, chairman of Kenyan Community in Ontario (KCO).
The meeting between CIC and Diaspora was organized by the Kenyan High Commissioner to Canada Mr Simon Nabukwesi in collaboration with the Kenyan community in Ontario (KCO).@
The CIC delegation included Chairman Charles Nyachae, Dr Florence Omosa, Mr Philemon Mwaisaka and Prof Peter Wanyande