The term citizenship comes from the word citizen which means a person who is accepted as a member and who belongs to a certain country.
The Meaning of Citizen and Citizenship
In Tanzania a person cannot be a citizen of more than one country. Therefore, citizenship is the state of being a citizen of a particular country. A responsible citizen is one who fulfills the duties and responsibilities of a citizen in his country.
Types and the Importance of Citizenship
There are three main types of citizenship – by birth, naturalization registration or by descent.
Citizenship by birth
This is the type of citizenship that most citizens have in a given country. It means, a person has citizenship status simply by being born to parents who are citizens of that country. It is sometimes known as natural citizenship.
A copy of birth certificate
Citizenship by naturalization/registration
This involves applying to the ministry responsible for granting citizenship status. This is given to those who have been positively accepted by the concerned ministry. For instance, if a non-citizen wishes to become a Tanzanian citizen he or she can apply to the Ministry of Home Affairs for citizenship.
The registration and naturalization, application process
Citizenship by registration is granted directly in Tanzania to any female applicant who is married to a Tanzanian, no matter whether she is from a Commonwealth or non-Commonwealth country. Any citizen of a Commonwealth country may also apply for citizenship by registration. People from non-Commonwealth countries may also apply for citizenship. In order for citizenship to be granted, applicants must meet the following conditions:
Has legally lived in the country for no less than five years continuously.
Able to speak Kiswahili and/or English fluently.
Well behavedi.e.not found engaging in criminal behaviour.
Make an oath denouncing his or her previous citizenship.
Promise to be a good citizen and to be loyal to the constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania.
Citizenship by descent
A person who was born outside the country, but whose parents are citizens of Tanzania by birth or naturalization, can also apply for citizenship to the minister of Home Affairs.
Loss of citizenship in Tanzania
In Tanzania one can lose citizenship status on three grounds;
If a Tanzanian citizen holds dual nationality; that is, if is a Tanzanian citizen at the same time a member of another country or other countries.
If one denounces his/her Tanzanian citizenship.
If one obtained his/her citizenship by fraud. Note: There are some cases where a person can be a citizen of two countries (dual citizenship). In Tanzania, this is not applied to date, but there is a move to dual citizenship in Tanzania.
Importance of citizenship
Citizenship is important as a citizens receive legal rights for being a member to a certain country, and is protected as a citizen of that country. It is also the legal way of being recognized as a person belonging to a particular country, and the country receives loyalty from its citizens.
Additionally a person gains legitimacy to involve in decisions in the country; for instance, citizens vote for leaders or can be voted for as leaders. A country can also impose its authority upon its citizens to carry out its policies for the development of the nation. Finally, a country gets revenue from its citizens through taxes paid by them.
1. Ask your fellow students, what is theircitizenship? 2. What is your citizenship?
To many people, duty and responsibility are two words which are used interchangeably most of the time. Duty simply means a legal or moral obligation of a person to perform certain legal tasks. On the other hand, responsibility is the situation of having a duty and be blamed if one does wrong. Therefore, all citizens have duties and responsibilities to perform in their country
The Responsibilities of a Citizen
These responsibilities are also called civic responsibilities. They can be put into four categories — personal, political, social and economic.
– A person can be considered a good citizen if one: behaves in a respectful manner; takes care of oneself; makes worth-fully decisions; considers the rights, freedom and interests of others and supports the family.
– A good citizen should participate fully in the political affairs of his/her nation like being well informed on local, national and international issues. Also should watch and give opinions on the process of government and its activities. The one who is registered, contests for leadership and vote in every local or national election; participating in political meetings like public rallies and local meetings to discuss local issues and being ready to defend one’s nation, even to the extent of shedding blood.
-These rights are not limited to the following: respect for other people’s rights, good conduct on crimes prevention and reporting. Respect the laws of the country, be honest, civility and allegiance to the lawful authority, protect the environment, safeguard public property, promote education, health services and help disabled people.
-These responsibilities include: payment of taxes and duties; doing lawful productive work; provide to dependents basic material and social services and be active participant in community development activities
Practice civic responsibilities
Importance of individuals fulfilling their civic responsibilities
There is a great need for individuals to fulfill their civic responsibilities because individuals have a duty to ask for the provision of quality education, good roads, electricity, or water if they have already paid their taxes. This is because duties and rights go together.
When a person fulfills ones civic responsibilities, he/she becomes a respected person in the family, society, nation, and even at the international level. This may make people be fully involved in social, political and economic activities for the development of a nation. For example, the late Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere was highly respected everywhere because he fulfilled his responsibilities as a citizen of Tanzania.
Crimes and wrong doing will also be reduced to a great extent if everyone fulfill his/her own civic responsibilities. Finally, peace and security may prevail in the country.
Dangers of not fulfilling one’s civic responsibilities
There is a great danger if citizens do not fulfill their responsibility because a person cannot claim for ones rights if at all one does not fulfill civic responsibilities, like paying tax and duties. Sometimes in responsible citizens can be sued in a court of law. For example, tax evaders, and lack of respect for the family and the nation may prevail.
Furthermore, families of people who do not fulfill their responsibilities lead a miserable life of poverty, and witness an increase in social evil and ethnics, e.g. killing, stealing and banditry. Finally, fulfillment of one’s civic responsibility contributes to the underdevelopment of the nation.
A: Match the wards in column A with the correct statement in column B
pay taxes and duties
steal ones property
help disabled people
having a duty and be blamed for
legal or moral obligation for doing task
personal, economic, social and political responsibilities
hate all rich people
Responsibilities to Special Groups Including HIV/AIDS Victims
People with special needs. These are people who are disadvantaged/disabled. They are unable to fulfill their civil responsibilities therefore; they need special attention from able-bodied people. Special groups are people with unusual problems that need special care and treatment in the society. The following are some of the special groups:
Special Needs for Each Special Group
Victims of HIV/AIDS: these are people who are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This virus attacks the white blood cells, which protect the human body from infections and diseases, like acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). These people have special problems because the disease has no vaccination and cure. They live in fear and are stigmatized by some members of the society. Some of them are too sick to work and cannot afford to meet their basic needs.
Figure, HIV/AIDS patient
Women: they too have special problems because they are underprivileged, oppressed, exploited and treated differently from men, simply because “they are women”. They at times suffer from rape, female genital mutilation and forced marriages, and they are not allowed to inherit or own property. In addition, girls’ enrolment in schools is very low compared to boys. All these practices are socially constructed.
Disabled people/handicapped: these are people with reduced function of particular body organ(s) and, therefore, they are limited in what they can do, although, they can do some tasks that are within their abilities. They are sometimes stigmatised by the society. In most cases, they are unable to meet their basic needs.
Refugees: these are people who are forced to leave their homeland and live in other places. This forced migration can be due to various social or political problems like war, drought or famine. Tanzania has received refugees from Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Refugees lack houses, nutritious food, social services like education and health, and they suffer from loneliness due to family disintegration.
Orphans: these are children who have no parents. They lack parental care and love. They can neither afford to meet their basic needs nor have access to social services, like education and health.
The youth: these are young people who are not yet adults. They suffer from problems related to their physiological and mental growth. Girls, sometimes, suffer from early marriages and pregnancies while some boys abuse drugs, smoke bhang/cigarettes or join bad groups.
Children: these are human beings who are below eighteen years of age. They are unable to support themselves in terms of all their basic and social needs. So they need special attention from parents and the entire community in order for them to survive.
Street children: these are disadvantaged children who are forced to live a miserable life in the streets due to various problems such as poverty, family disintegration, and the influence of bad youth groups, like those involved in drug abuse. Sometimes these children engage in unlawful acts, such as, prostitution, stealing, child labour, begging and petty. Business so as to earn a living.
Elderly people (the aged): because of their age, they are physically unfit to work effectively and earn a living. Therefore, they need assistance from the able-bodied people.
Point out his/her responsibilities towards special group
As discussed above, each special group has a wide range of problems. They need special assistance to provide for their physical, biological, social and moral needs.
They need special attention because of their disabilities, like when crossing roads, bicycles for the disabled, holding their hands, etc. However, these needs differ from one special group to another. It is, therefore, the responsibility of citizens to help each special group.
Responsibilities of citizens to the disabled
The responsibilities of citizens to the disabled are that: Citizens should encourage and help the disabled to consider themselves as normal citizens and thus participate in different social and economic activities in the society. Such activities may be running a petty business, farming or looking after domestic animals, depending on the nature of their disability. They should also never discriminate disabled people in schools, workplaces and in the society in general.
The disabled should be assisted to get basic needs like food, clothing and housing. Citizens living near or with such people should assist them in that way. Citizens should also help the disabled to establish special centers where they can meet and share ideas and undertake joint economic activities. This will reduce their loneliness while at the same time making them productive as a group.
Group of people with special needs
Moreover, citizens should help the disabled to form their own associations that will fight for their rights. They should ensure that the disabled have access to social services like education, health services, water, housing and electricity.
Responsibilities of citizens to refugees.
Citizens are responsible to refugees by providing humanitarian assistance. Basically this involves giving them food, clothing and shelter. They must also provide them with basic social services, like water, medical care and education for their children.
They are supposed to ask refugees to refrain from any unlawful acts (offences) like banditry, smuggling, keeping weapons and ammunition, rape and even unlawful correspondence with their home countries. Citizens need also to prevent refugees from destroying the environment. This involves preventing them from clearing forests for firewood or practice sing poor farming methods.
Finally, citizens are responsible to co-operate with the government and non-governmental organisations, including the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), in taking care of refugees until when they are ready to go back to their home-country
Responsibilities of citizens to HIV/IDS victims
Citizens are responsible to advise and help the HIV/AIDS victims to receive counselling and guidance from professional counselors. Also, citizens are responsible to advise and assist them to attend clinics in various medical centers.
In addition, they are not supposed to isolate or stigmatize them, rather show them love, concern and encourage them to have hope. This is because to be infected with HIV does not mean that one will die soon. They should also take trouble to support the victims financially so that they can get the required diet. Finally, citizens are responsible to visit their homes and give them company and other things to reduce their boredom and sense of loneliness.
Responsibilities of citizens to women
Citizens are responsible to protect women through abolishing bad traditions and customs that oppress and exploit women in the society, such as FGM, beating women, early marriages, forced marriages, polygamy, and the inheritance of widows, laws forbidding women from inheriting property, denial of equal educational opportunities for girls. They are also responsible for helping women to form co-operative groups which can seek funds from the government or NGOs to engage in meaningful and productive activities.
Citizens need to ask the government to provide women with better transport and communication systems, clean and safe water and health services. Women should be educated so that they can realize their rights in the society, hence, promote equality between men and women in education, politics, employment, division of labor in the family, and even in religious institutions.
As the number of old people increases in Tanzania, our society ought to help them. This can be through buying them foodstuffs or showing them how they can grow some of the food crops near their homes. Also citizens are supposed to provide them with comfortable clothing and bedding so as to keep their bodies warm, especially at night.
They need to involve the aged in organisations where they can share views with other people. This helps them to reduce loneliness, hence, stay mentally active. They are also responsible to assist them in getting medical care and train them to refrain from unhealthy habits like smoking.
They are responsible to help the aged remain physically fit by educating them on the importance of undertaking physical exercise like walking, gardening, cycling and swimming.
Citizens are supposed to love them and give them encouragement so that, despite their problems, they may still have hope for a better life. We should show them that they are still valued despite their old age. Finally, if possible for old homes, new homes should be built for the aged, especially those who have no family members to take care of them.
Responsibilities of the society to street children
Citizens ought to help street children through showing them love and hospitality by giving them parental care and trying to adopt some of them so as to assist them closely. They are also needed to provide them with the basic necessities, like food, clothing and shelter.
Charities and religious organisations should assist street children by giving them good moral guidance and even supporting them materially. Joining or forming organisations aimed at supporting street children morally and materially.
Responsibilities of citizens to the youth
Some of the responsibilities of citizens to the youth are to ask the government to change the traditional trend of our educational system so that it teaches the youth how to employ themselves instead of educating them for white-collar jobs only.
Citizens are also supposed to ask the government to increase the opportunities for secondary, technical and tertiary education. To expand and strengthen the informal sector through co-operation with the government so that it provides more employment.
Furthermore, citizens are supposed to help the youth to initiate cooperative economic activities like carpentry or gardening. Lastly, they need to assist the youth to take part in sports and games so as to promote co-operation, love, friendliness and good health among them.
Responsibilities of citizens to orphans
As stated earlier, orphans get frustrated as they lack parental care and love. To orphans, citizens ought to provide them with basic assistance that will help them to go to school. This may involve paying for their school materials like books, uniforms, bus fare or even meals at school.
Also, citizens need to provide the orphans with health-care services including paying for their treatment when they are sick and giving them medical advice, and providing them with basic social services like food, clothing and shelter.
In addition, citizens are responsible for showing them love and care, since these are the things orphans lack most. They need to be adopted and be given material and moral support.
Responsibilities of citizens to children
Like other special groups, children, have many problems. They are unable to provide themselves with basic needs like food, clothing and shelter. Also, they cannot afford social services, like education, health, water, housing and transport. They need love and care from either parents or guardians.
Citizens have the responsibility to ensure that children get education, especially primary education which is provided free in Tanzania. Parents, in particular, should send their children to school and make sure that their attendance at school is good. They need clean and safe water, health care, and be taught good manners so that they can grow up to be good citizens in the future.
Children should not be subjected to child labour or any child abuse. For example, using of children to fight in wars, for commercial sex work, to work in quarries and mines or to do lumbering. They should get time to enjoy playing games and doing sports both at school and in other places demarcated for such activities.
Children are supposed to be educated on how to avoid dangerous behaviour like unsafe sex,abusing drugsand smoking cigarettes and marijuana. Unsafe sex can lead them to getting infected with HIV/AIDS. They need also to be taught the importance of hard-work both at school and at home, where they should assist their parents in some manual work.