Government says it has no immediate plans to grant citizenship to Angolan refugees who have settled in Shangombo since 1966 after fleeing their country because of a civil war.
Home Affairs Minister, Kennedy Sakeni told parliament this morning that government has no plans to grant them citizenship because it is not a right.
ZANIS reports that Mr. Sakeni has since encouraged the Angolan refugees to go back to their country of origin under the voluntary repatriation exercise which is expected to come to an end this month end.
Mr. Sakeni however said children of Angolan refugees who were born from one Zambian parent will be entitled to citizenship and also encouraged to apply for citizenship.
He said government will ensure that all people have a status.
The Minister said this in response to a question from Sinjembela, Member of Parliament, Poniso Njeulu who wanted to know whether government has plans to grant citizenship to the Mbukushu, Kwangali and Kwakwandu people of Angola who settled in Shangombo District after fleeing from a civil war in 1966.
This was during the question for oral answer session.
Mr. Sakeni added that government will use the traditional leaders and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to identify Angolan refugees in that part of the country because it will be difficult to know them because they have integrated into communities.
He was responding to a follow up question from Nalikwanda MP, Geoffrey Lungwanagwa who wanted to know how government will identify the said Angolan refugees because they have stayed in Zambian for a long time and gone into communities.
Zambia currently has over 48,000 refugees and the country is currently undertaking a voluntary repatriation which expires June 30 and this will entail that all refuges who will not go will cease to be refugees.
Meanwhile, Finance Deputy Minister Miles Sampa said government raised US$ 24.3 million in revenue from gold export from 2008 to date.
The Deputy Minister was responding to a question from Pemba MP, Mutinta Mazoka who wanted to know how much was raised in form of taxes, from gold exports from 2008 to-date.