The applicant consistently asserted his Namibian citizenship, citing the identity document he held. He argued that, as per the Constitution, he acquired Namibian citizenship by birth since his parents were ordinary residents in the country. He contended that revoking his citizenship would result in statelessness. The respondent countered, claiming that the initial issuance of the identity document relied on incorrect information, as the applicant's father was wrongly identified as Namibian instead of Burundian. Additionally, the respondent argued that, even without Namibian recognition, the applicant would still have Burundian descent, avoiding statelessness.

Issuing court
Date of judgment

citizenship, child, asylum Seekers

Case citations
Kwizera v Minister of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security [2023] NAHCMD 311 (8 June 2023)
Kwizera v Minister of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security (HC-MD-CIV-MOT-GEN-2021/00357) [2023] NAHCMD 311 (8 June 2023)
Nationality of refugee/asylum seeker

The applicant, born in Namibia to two Burundian nationals seeking asylum, faced challenges when applying for a passport for a school trip. Despite being issued a Namibian identity document at birth, the application was denied, citing a lack of recognition as a Namibian citizen.

Decision/ Judgment

It was held that the applicant was not Namibian by birth because his parents were not ordinarily residents due to their pending refugee status.

Basis of the decision

The decision was based on the definition of "ordinarily resident," emphasizing the need for a habitual home or a sense of permanence. Since the applicant's parents were awaiting refugee status, their residency in Namibia was temporary and contingent on the outcome of their refugee status, precluding them from being considered ordinarily residents.

Reported by
Supported by the UNHCR