The Parliament Committee on Government Oversight has begun scrutinising the citizenship status of cabinet ministers appointed by President Mohamed Muizzu. This follows concerns about potential dual citizenship among ministers, a status prohibited by the nation’s constitution.

During the committee’s meeting on Monday, MPs raised questions about the citizenship of certain ministers who had long-term residencies abroad. The Constitution explicitly states in Article 130(a) that cabinet ministers must hold sole citizenship of the country. The inquiry was initiated after suspicions arose that some ministers might possess foreign passports.

The committee sought information from immigration authorities about the ministers’ passport status. However, the agency indicated that providing such details was beyond its remit. In response, the committee resolved to compile a report for the President’s Office, requesting clarification on the citizenship status of the ministers before proceeding with their approval.

In a related event, Housing Minister Dr Ali Haider, who had resided in the United Kingdom until his cabinet appointment, confirmed at a National Development and Infrastructure Committee meeting that he had relinquished his British citizenship. This clarification came amidst the broader inquiry by the government oversight committee into the citizenship status of the 22 cabinet ministers nominated by President Muizzu.

The committee chairman highlighted the procedural challenges in clarifying ministers’ citizenship due to a Supreme Court ruling that prohibits summoning ministers to parliament for their appointment review. Consequently, the committee has adopted a strategy of requesting written clarifications from ministers via the President’s Office.

The committee has postponed its decision on approving the cabinet appointments until a thorough review of the relevant documents is completed.