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Obama may regain Kenyan citizenship!

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After nearly 20 years of acrimonious debate, the Parliament of Kenya earlier this month approved a historic new draft constitution that will be presented to the people in a national referendum later this year. The draft constitution has new checks on the power of the presidency and also prohibits the dual office holding of Parliamentarians and members of the Cabinet.

So far, I haven’t found anything about Barack Obama’s birth certificate being “top secret,” but it may well be that Barack Obama, who lost his Kenyan citizenship1 when he reached age 23, may be able to reclaim it under provisions in the new draft constitution:

Chapter 4, Section 21.

(1) A person who is a citizen does not lose citizenship by reason only of acquiring the citizenship of another country.

(2) A person who as a result of acquiring the citizenship of another country ceased to be a Kenyan citizen is entitled, on application, to regain Kenyan citizenship.

(3) Parliament shall enact legislation providing for conditions upon which citizenship may be granted to individuals, other than individuals referred to in clauses (1) and (2), who are citizens of other countries.

For more information:

Notes:


1 Barack Obama was a dual citizen of Kenya and the United States because the current Kenyan Constitution grants such citizenship to the children of those born in Kenya and the United States grants citizenship to those born in the United States. The current Kenyan Constitution, however, strips dual Kenyan citizenship from persons who do not, within 2 years of reaching age 21, swear an oath of allegiance to Kenya.

6 Responses to Obama may regain Kenyan citizenship!

  1. avatar
    Lester April 15, 2010 at 4:08 pm #

    Well that is good news. He can make it offical now!

  2. avatar
    Jules April 15, 2010 at 7:19 pm #

    I am not sure if the quoted provision would apply to Obama. Strictly speaking, Obama did not lose his Kenyan citizenship due to his acquisition of United States citizenship. Obama had acquired United States citizenship at birth, before Kenyan citizenship existed. Rather, it was retention of his United States citizenship into adulthood that led to his loss of his Kenyan citizenship.

    The applicability of the draft Chapter 4, Section 21 to Obama is purely academic in any case. The draft text envisions that people who will regain Kenyan citizenship will have submit an application. Obama will surely have no reason to make such an application.

    Subsection (3) does create a rather unlikely possibility that the Kenyan Parliament could automatically restore the Kenyan citizenship of Obama notwithstanding the above. The authority granted seems to be relatively broad and would presumably include the power to restrospectively invalidate the loss of Kenyan nationality that had occurred due to retention of non-Kenyan nationality. However, this is so unlikely as to be nearly as academic as the thought of the British Parliament declaring all US citizens to be granted retrospective British citizenship from birth.

  3. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 15, 2010 at 10:03 pm #

    Jules: I am not sure if the quoted provision would apply to Obama.

    I share the same reservation and it rather depends on whether the provision is taken broadly or narrowly. Nevertheless Obama made a visible choice to be American by living here, studying here, working here and taking part in our political process. While President Obama was born an American citizen, his life affirmed that fact.

    Of course, it is as you say, purely academic. President Obama is not going to apply for Kenyan citizenship. The article was published for two reasons. First just for fun. The second reason will be disclosed later.

  4. avatar
    Black Lion April 20, 2010 at 3:58 pm #

    Everyday a new so called controversy….This time the birthers are getting excited about another so called Kenyan Assembly debate…

    http://jeffersonsrebels.blogspot.com/2010/04/kenyan-minister-khalwale-asks-when.html

    “The following transcript is of an April 14, 2010 debate on the floor of the Kenyan National Assembly. The question under discussion concerns the repatriation of Kenyan artifacts which were removed from the country by colonialists. The Ministers want to know what is being done to return the artifacts, or failing their return, how and when Kenya will be compensated for their loss. They argue that museums in the US and elsewhere have earned money on these artifacts, thus those countries are indebted to Kenya. Importantly, in 2006, when Barack Obama visited Kenya, strategized with, and campaigned on behalf of Raila Odinga, the Senator also promised to help with the return of artifacts to Kenya or to seek financial compensation.

    The most amazing question asked on the floor is by Dr. Bonny Khalwale, of the Ikolomani Constituency, and concerns the “repatriation” of Barack Obama! Dr. Khalwale’s remarks are highlighted in red in one of the paragraphs below the fold.”

    From the actual transcript…

    Dr. Khalwale: Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Minister has told us that the office of the then Senator Obama gave him a lot of assistance. That is very good to hear. Could he tell us what commitment the same office made by way of compensation to this country because those artefacts in those museums have been attracting visitors who were paying to view them? What commitment did they make about compensation and more importantly, the biggest artefact in the USA today that belongs to this country is one Barrack Obama. How does he intend to repatriate himself or part of the money that is realized from all the royalties that he is attracting across the whole world?

    The Assistant Minister for Roads (Dr. Machage): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is the hon. Member right to refer to the President of the USA as an artefact? Mr. Speaker: Dr. Khalwale, you are out of order! The President of the USA cannot be classified as an artefact. You should withdraw and apologize. Dr. Khalwale: Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I withdraw and apologize, may I clarify that this was not mischief. In one of the museums in USA—

    Mr. Speaker: Order, Dr. Khalwale! I have given directions. If you wish, you can quote to the House, perhaps a medical dictionary, but I am certain that the English dictionary will not define the word “artifact” as including any human being, let alone President Obama. Dr. Khalwale: Mr. Speaker, Sir, most obliged. My withdrawal and apology still stands but I just wanted to clarify that the artefacts that I am referring to indeed exist. It was not the hon. Obama. If you go to the museum in Washington, there is a huge statue not just of Obama alone but also his wife and all the previous presidents of the USA.

  5. avatar
    Expelliarmus April 20, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    Kind of proves that ignorance pops up all over the world.

  6. avatar
    Judge Mental April 21, 2010 at 4:50 am #

    Not that I’m actually taking the reported Kenyan conversation seriously but I did have a passing moment of curiosity as to how, short of some kind of time travel, a statue of Obama depicting him as President could have been removed from Kenya “by colonialists”