CI.1.3. Citizenship



Meaning, types and importance of citizen

Citizenship is the legal right of a person to belong to a particular country.

A citizen is a person who has the right to belong to a particular country. The condition that qualify a person to be a citizen are specified in a constitution of the country. A citizen of the country is expected to be loyal and patriotic to his or her country.

Types of citizenship
There are four types of citizenship in Tanzania. These are:
1.      Citizenship by birth
A person who is born in Tanzania by parents who are Tanzanians citizens is the citizen of Tanzania. This is citizenship by birth.
2.      Citizenship by neutralization
Non-citizens who wish to become Tanzanian citizens can apply to ministry of Home affairs for citizenship. After receiving the application, the ministry of Home affairs publishes a notice in the news paper bearing the photograph and name of applicant. The notice informs the general public of the application and asks if anyone objects to the applicant being granted citizenship. If there is no objections , the application is accepted and person is granted citizenship.
A person applying for citizenship in Tanzania must fulfill the following conditions:
(a)   He or she must be a person of good behavior
(b)   He or she must be lived in the country for at least five years.
(c)    He or she must be of 21 years or above.
(d)   He or she must renounce his or her former citizenship.

3.      Citizenship by descent
This applies to:
(a)   A child who is born in Tanzania, and one of his or her parents is a citizen of Tanzania
(b)   A person who is born in outside Tanzania and one of his or her parents is a citizen of Tanzania. However, such person has to apply to the Ministry of Home Affairs for confirmation of citizenship.

4.      Citizenship by marriage
A foreign woman who marries a citizen of Tanzania may register for citizenship.

Importance of citizenship
It is important to be a citizen of a country. The advantage of being a citizen includes the following:
1.      It enables a person to exercise his or her legal rights in the country.
2.      It allows a person to participate in civic activities such as voting.
3.      It enables a person to get services which are granted to citizens only. Such as service including freedom of education, scholarships and free medical services.
4.      A citizen has the right to participate in political and economic activities of the country.

Responsibilities of the citizen
Responsibilities are the things a person has to perform as a rule. A citizen has to do the certain things in the country in which he or she is a citizen. These are called civic responsibilities or re responsibilities of the citizen. Civic responsibility classified as follows:

1.      Personal responsibilities
A good citizen is the one who:
(a)   Takes care of himself or herself.
(b)   Behaves in civil or respectful manner.
(c)    Consider the rights and interests of others.
(d)   Support the family.
(e)   Accepts responsibility for his or her action.

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2.      Economic responsibilities
A good citizen is obliged to:
(a)   Pay taxes and other statutory payments to the governments.
(b)   Do lawful productive work.
(c)    Participate in community development activities.

3.      Social responsibilities
A citizen must:
(a)   Protect his or her country from enemies.
(b)   Promote fairness, equality and social justice.
(c)    Respects the rights of fellow citizens.
(d)   Obey the law of the country in order for everyone to live in peace and harmony.

4.      Political responsibilities
A citizen has a responsibility to.
(a)   Participate in the country’s civic affair such as attending political meetings.
(b)   Take part in election.
(c)    Take part in building and consolidating democracy.
(d)   Help to develop public policy.
(e)   Advocate favorable policies and legislations.
(f)     Acquire and use information in order to make decisions.

Results of practicing civic responsibilities
The following are results of fulfilling civic responsibilities:
(a)   The rate of crime is reduced because people are busy carrying out their duties.
(b)   There is peace and harmony during political, social and economic activities.
(c)    The rights of people are respected because people do not interfere with each other’s rights. No citizen will enjoy his or her rights to the point of abusing the right of other citizens. One’s freedom ends when the other citizen’s freedom begins.

Responsibilities to special groups

Special groups are people who need special care for various reasons. Such people should not be neglected. They should be assisted when they cannot carry out their responsibilities and duties. The following are some of the special groups of the people and the way in which we can help them:

1.      The elderly
These are old people. As people age, they become less energetic and may not be able to work as well as young people. As the result, they cannot work effectively and earn their daily living. In addition, some disabilities such as poor eyesight and poor muscle control may be caused by old age. Elderly people therefore need special care.

2.      Street children
This is the group of the children who stay on the streets as they have no place to live. This could the result of various causes such as poverty, abuse by parents or guardians, death of parents and family break-ups. Due to these reasons children are forced to live on streets with neither parents nor guardians to take care of them. They usually have no permanent place to live in. in order to earn their living, street children may engage themselves in child labour and drug peddling.
In Tanzania, there are institutions which give such children life skills. Examples of such centres are Dogodogo centre in Dar es Salaam and Kuleana in Mwanza.
People who have the ability to assist street children should do so. One can assist by sponsoring their stay at the centre, giving them clothes and food or taking them to school.

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3.      People living with HIV and AIDS
These are people who are infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The virus attacks the white blood cells that protect the human body from infection and disease.
Many HIV infected persons live in fear since the disease has no cure. However, to be infected with HIV does not mean one will die immediately. With support from the society and proper health practices, an infected person can live for many years and achieve most of his or her goals. Responsible citizens should support such people by providing them with love, food, clothes and medicine.

4.      Refugees
Refugees are people who flee their countries because of insecurity in their home countries. The following are some of the reasons for their forced migration:
1.      Political conflicts
2.      Civil wars
3.      Social conflicts
4.      Drought or famine
5.      Religious conflicts
6.      Economic problems
Refugees lack such things as education, food and proper housing. Their families are also separated. Tanzania has refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Rwanda. We can also help them by being kind to them and listening and talking to them.

5.      People with disabilities
This group includes people with mental disabilities, those with hearing and speech difficulties, the blind and physically disabled.
People with mental disabilities have below average intelligence. These people cannot perform routine activities effectively on their own. They often have emotional and behavioral problems. Such people tend to isolate themselves and are generally depressed. The deaf are people who have hearing problems. These people can carry out many activities which do not require hearing. They can communicate through sign language. Some people cannot speak. They also communicate through sign language. Blind people cannot see. They can be taught how to read using Braille.
Physically disabled persons have problems with particular limbs. The limbs may be missing or may not be functional. This hinders them from performing certain physical activities, such as working.
We should help people with disabilities to perform tasks. For example we can help the blind to cross the road. We can push the wheel chairs of those who can’t walk. We can also read to those who are blind.

6.      Women and children
This group is ignored in some communities. They are not given equal opportunities to participate in decision making in their families or at higher levels. In some communities, women are not given leadership positions. Some families do not allow girls to go to school. In village, women work hard in farms but they may have no right to plan how to use the farm products. In towns women are used prostitute or means of advertising products. The society need to assist this group of people to enjoy their rights. This can be done by giving them responsibilities, allowing girls to go to school and give them equal chances at education and at employment.

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The needs of the special groups
People in the special groups need specific assistance. They need various things for a comfortable life just like everybody else. Some of their needs are outlined below:

1.      Old people require basic needs like clothes, shelter, health services, food, water, and general care. The community and relatives have a responsibility to take care of the elderly.

2.      Street children need education, health services, water, clothing, shelter, vocational training, counseling and protection. The government and the society must ensure that these children are in manner in which they become responsible citizens.

3.      People living with HIV/AIDS need love, counseling, a balanced diet, medicine and socialization.

4.      Refugees need education, food, health care, food and shelter, clothing and proper security.

5.      People with various disabilities need education, health care, food and shelter. They also need treated just like normal people and given equal opportunities such as employment.

6.      Woman and children need to be treated fairly and to be given equal opportunities in the societies. They need education to support their lives. They need to be allowed to exercise their legal rights and freedom such as freedom of expression. Women should be allowed to participate in economic activities without being harassed or intimidated by anyone.

Responsibilities toward special groups
The duties of a good citizen toward people with special needs include:
1.      Assisting these people by providing material and financial help.
2.      Interacting with them, at home and in community meetings, and allowing them to express their opinions and feelings.
3.      Showing them respect and understanding.
4.      Providing education to all depending on their special needs.
5.      Supporting them physically, for example when they are crossing roads.
6.      Providing counseling and socialization.

Chapter summary
Citizenship is the legal right of a person to belong to a particular country. A citizen is a person who has the right to belong to the particular country.
There are four types of citizenship in Tanzania. These are citizenship by birth, neutralization, descent, and marriage.
Responsibilities are the things that a person has to perform as the rule. A citizen has to do certain things in the country in which he or she is the citizen. These are called civic responsibilities, economic responsibilities, social responsibilities and political responsibilities.
Special groups are persons who need special care for various reasons. Such people should not be neglected. They should be assisted when they cannot carry out their responsibilities and duties.
Some of the special groups of people include the elderly, street children, people living with HIV and AIDS, refugees, and people with disabilities
People in the special group need specific assistance. They need various things for a comfortable life just like everybody else.
The duties of a good services toward people with special needs include assisting them materially and financially, interacting with them, showing them respect, providing them with education to them and providing counseling and socialization


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