TWO ZIMBABWEAN-BORN Zambians, who had been denied travelling documents as they were regarded as aliens for being born of a Zambian father, have been issued with Zimbabwean passports after years of struggle following the intervention of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).
The ZLHR indicated that Edna Silundu and Margret Silundu, who were born in Zimbabwe of a Zimbabwean mother and Zambian father, were issued with Zimbabwean passports after the intervention their Bulawayo-based lawyers Nosimilo Chanayiwa and Lizwe Jamela.
“ZLHR’s intervention compelled the Registrar-General (RG) Tobaiwa Mudede’s office to issue the two sisters with passports,” a ZLHR statement reads.
“ZLHR is elated that our lawyers in Bulawayo, Chanayiwa and Jamela on Thursday 15 May 2014 received two visitors, Edna and Margret Silundu, who advised that the RG’s office had finally issued them with passports after struggling to obtain the travel documents as they were considered to be aliens.”
The two Silundu sisters were born in Zimbabwe in the 1960s to a Zimbabwean mother and a Zambian father, who had migrated to the then Southern Rhodesia.
“Having been issued with Zimbabwean identity cards and regarding Zimbabwe as their home, the two were surprised when the RG’s office continuously refused to issue them with passports due to the country’s complicated citizenship laws that rendered some people stateless,” ZLHR said.
Ednah and Margaret approached the ZLHR for legal assistance and a series of letters were written to the RG’s office by Chanayiwa and Jamela explaining that they were misinterpreting the legal provisions governing citizenship issues as section 35 (3) (b) entitles all Zimbabwean citizens to passports and other travel documents.
“The engagement finally paid off resulting in the issuing of the passports to the two sisters,” ZLHR said.