The Angolan Consulate in Rundu is issuing consulate identification cards to its nationals who have been stateless in Namibia.

Kavango West's Ncamagoro Constituency Councillor, Thomas Rengi, initiated the process after realising the number of stateless persons was overwhelming.

A large number of Angolan nationals turned up for the one-week registration at the constituency office.

Those issued with the consulate cards are expected to apply for Angolan birth certificates and national identity cards for that country.

Rengi says many of these people have never lived in any other country except Namibia, but they could not qualify for citizenship.

"They are so excited. They say 'Perhaps now we are being recognized, we know what to do, we know that we can apply, we can cross the border and go to our place of origin, we can visit our relatives, we can come back now that we have documents, or if we want, we can also apply for permanent residence.' Those are their sentiments, and they are overjoyed."

He, therefore, says once they have acquired full Angolan citizenship, they can now apply for permanent residence in Namibia.

Rengi says statelessness is a major challenge in his constituency, and it is becoming a generational problem affecting children born of undocumented parents.

"I don't know now if they will extend to other constituencies, but that will be good because I know that Ncamagoro is one of the places. I know there are other people living in various constituencies who are in the same situation."

He added that the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security's civil registration officials are also expected to conduct an outreach programme in his constituency in the coming weeks.

This is after the constituency listed more than 300,000 residents who need national documents.

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online desk


Chris Kupulo