Elections

 

The Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety, and Security (MoHAISS) is facing another court matter after it was dragged to court for refusing to issue a man with Namibian citizenship with a Namibian passport.

22-year-old Russell Kwizera was born to his Burundian refugee parents in 2002 at the Otjiwarongo State Hospital and was issued with a Namibian full birth certificate and a confirmation of birth document.

Kwizera was later issued with a Namibian identification document, which states that he is a citizen.

However, in 2021, prompted by a school tour to South Africa, Kwizera’s application for a passport was denied by the ministry after it allegedly found discrepancies that were made by its staff during his registration.

In court papers, the minister, Dr. Albert Kawana, argues that Kwizera was born to parents who were in the process of seeking asylum or refugee status and that his parents were not "ordinary residents" of Namibia at the time of his birth.

The minister further states that the full birth certificate issued at birth and the subsequent issuance of the national identity document are subject to investigation as the ministry suspects that these documents were issued under some form of bribery or fraudulent activity.

Kawana further wants the court to order that Kwizera return the national documents, arguing that his parents were not honest with officials during the registration of his birth.

But Kwizera, who claims to be a third-year medical student at the University of Namibia, says that Namibia is the only home he has known for the past 22 years.

Though his parents are from Burundi, he says that he has never set foot outside the borders of Namibia and does not have any cultural or linguistic ties with Burundi.

He has now turned to the Windhoek High Court, asking the Court to order the minister to issue him with a Namibian passport and declare him a Namibian citizen.

 

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Author
Emil Xamro Seibeb