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COURT STOPS REVOCATION OF 396 CITIZENSHIPS

By Our Reporter

The High Court in Lilongwe has granted an injunction stopping Homeland Security Minister Ken Zikhale Ng’oma from proceeding with plans to revoke citizenships of 396 Burundians and Rwandans suspected to have obtained their status fraudulently.

It follows an application by Charles Nsazabaganwa, Felix Hakizimana and 23 others seeking judicial review on the matter.

“In view of prudent case management which requires issues raising similar questions to be decided by one judge, it is directed that the future hearing or scheduling of the matter herein be heard by Justice Msiska of the Lilongwe District Registry (Civil Division) together with the matter registered as Judicial Review Cause no. 62 of 2022,” read a document The Radar has seen.

Ng’oma is yet to comment on the court order. He previously said the revocation of the citizenships was aimed at flushing out criminals from other countries, including Rwandan genocide suspects.

“We want to tighten our security and ensure that whosoever obtained a passport in a manner that is not normal, we have to confiscate that passport. And whoever got citizenship without right procedures, we will also revoke [that] citizenship,” Ng’oma said.

Ng’oma added authorities were hunting for 55 suspectsin connection with the deaths of over 2,000 people during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Last month, the government of South Africa arrested a Rwandese genocide suspect, Fulgence Kayishema. Investigations revealed that Kayishema was using a Malawian passport and names.

“Having managed to get one sample of what is happening in South Africa in regard to our passports, we believe that some people are using false identities in Malawi,” said Ng’oma.

But critics say the program is too broad and will ensnare legitimate refugees.

In 2020, Malawi’s High Court sentenced Homeland Security Minister Uladi Mussa, to six years in jail for issuing fraudulent citizenships and passports to Burundians and Rwandans.

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