HARARE – Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede has been dragged to the High Court by a citizen who is being denied permission to renew her Zimbabwean passport because she is a holder of a British passport.
Tessa Mary Ball cited Mudede and principal director of Immigration in their official capacities as respondents.
According to the country’s Constitution, which came into effect in 2013, dual citizenship is allowed.
“This is an application for a declaration of my rights, more particularly my rights to the citizenship of Zimbabwe and the attendant rights thereto.
“This application has been necessitated by the need for a final and definitive statement as to my status and my rights on account of the refusal of the first respondent (Mudede) to entertain my application for the renewal of a Zimbabwean passport,” Ball said.
She was born in Mutare in 1955 and is a holder of a Zimbabwean birth certificate and identity card.
“At the time of my birth, my father was a citizen of Zimbabwe. I left Zimbabwe for the United Kingdom in 2004. I travelled on a Zimbabwean passport with a United Kingdom ancestry visa. My Zimbabwean passport expired on March 25, 2012…
“In 2010, I acquired citizenship of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, I hold a passport of that country,” Ball said.
She said when she visited Mudede’s offices, she was asked to bring her British passport, before being advised that her application for a new Zimbabwean passport had been rejected on the grounds that she is a holder of a British passport.
“Upon seeking legal counsel, I was advised that it is best that I approach this honourable court for relief in the form of an order declaring myself to be a citizen of Zimbabwe by birth entitled to travel documents and with the right to leave and enter Zimbabwe unconditionally and in perpetuity.
“I am advised, which advice I accept to be true and correct, that I am a citizen of Zimbabwe by birth because I was born in Zimbabwe and at the time of birth, my father was a Zimbabwean citizen,” Ball further said.
She also said that she has a right to freely move within Zimbabwe without any visa restrictions.
She added, “I am further advised, which advice I also accept to be true, that as a citizen of Zimbabwe by birth I am allowed to hold the citizenship of another country, in my case that of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland without the need to renounce the one in favour of the other.”
Mudede is yet to respond to the application, which was filed last Friday.