Citizenship as a Legal Concept in Zimbabwe


The concept of citizenship is highly topical in modern political and legal debates world over. The following are common and instructive working definitions on this concept. It is the legal and political identity of a person as a subject of a particular country. It is also regarded as the status of being a citizen, that is being a subject of a sovereign state at international law.[2]This research offers an insight on the legal framework regulating citizenship in Zimbabwe. Although, there are major highlights of, global perspectives, with regards to the concept of citizenship, the bottom line is that this research mainly addresses the pertinent form and substance inherent in the terminology of citizenship from a Zimbabwean viewpoint. The post-independence era in Zimbabwe has largely been shaped by the desire to reconstruct the term ‘citizen’, since the greater part of the country’s historical background is tainted by a dark period where, the majority, black people, were divested of this right, which existed as a privilege for a minority white population, under the Smith administered regime.

In this light, this research interrogates how the new dispensation under the 2013 Constitution has shaped the term ‘citizenship’ together with the corollary rights and duties appended to this concept. This task involves an in-depth assessment of the form and substance that informs the acquisition of citizenship; the nature and extent of citizenship together with the accepted grounds of dual citizenship. The main rationale of this study being to identify gaps in the legal framework regulating citizenship so as to proffer recommendations aligned to international best practice as remedial to the would be identified shortcomings.

Share with your friends