Responsible Citizenship | Civics Form One

Maasai standing

Meaning of citizen

A citizen is a person who is accepted as a member and who belongs to a certain country.

Meaning of citizenship

Citizenship is the state of being a citizen of a particular country.

Types of citizenship

1. Citizenship by birth
2. Citizenship by naturalization
3. Citizenship by registration or by descent

Citizenship by birth

This is a type of citizenship where by citizenship status is acquared by being born to parents who are citizens of that country. 

Citizenship by naturalization

This is a type of citizenship where by citizenship status is acquared by applying to the ministry responsible for granting citizenship status.

Citizenship by registration or by descent

A person who was born outside the country, but whose parents are citizens of Tanzania by birth or naturalization.

Importance of citizenship

1. Citizens receive legal rights for being member to a certain country
A citizen receives legal rights in his/her country. These legal rights protect a citizen from being abused, stolen or anything which is against the law.
2. A citizen is protected as a member of that country
Citizens are protected together with their property. In Tanzania, police protect citizens.
3. It is the legal way of being recognized as a person belonging to a particular country
For example, you can be recognized as a Kenyan, Tanzanian, Rwandan, or a citizen of any country.
4. A person gains legitimacy to involve in decisions in the country
For instance, citizens vote for leaders or can be voted for as leaders. You cannot vote or make decisions if you are not a citizen of the country.

Citizenship responsibilities

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.
These responsibilities are also called civic responsibilities. They can be put into four categories — personal, political, social and economic.

Personal Responsibility

- Behaves in a respectful manner.
- Takes care of oneself.
- Makes worth-fully decisions.
- Considers the rights, freedom and interests of others
- Supports the family.

Political responsibilities

- Participate fully in the political affairs of his/her nation like being well informed on local, national and international issues.
- Watch and give opinions on the process of government and its activities.
- To register, 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.
- Ready to defend one’s nation, even to the extent of shedding blood.

Social responsibilities

- Respect for other people’s rights.
- Good conduct on crimes prevention and reporting.
- Respect the laws of the country.
- Protect the environment.
- Safeguard public property.
- Promote education and health services.
- Help disabled people.

Economic responsibilities

- Payment of taxes.
- Doing productive work.
- Be active participant in community development activities.

Responsibilities to special groups

Special groups are those who need special attention such as children, women, HIV victim, handicap and ageing.
Example of special groups are: Women, The elderly, The disabled, Refugees, Orphans, Street children, HIV AIDS victims.

Responsibilities towards special group

1. Providing material and financial help
For example, the disabled because they are unable to work, deserve various things like food, soap, medicine, etc. they also deserve financial help.
2. Allowing them to express their opinion and feelings
In the past women were not given a chance to express their views. For now, women should be given the right to comment and express themselves at the family level to the nation level.
3. Respect them
For example, the elders deserve the respect of all the people. It is not good behavior to rob them of respect.
4. Providing education
All children, girls and boys, disabled and non-disabled, they deserve to be educated. Education will help them to solve different challenges in the society.
5. Supporting them physically
For example when children and the disabled are crossing roads, they need help to avoid accidents.
6. Providing counselling
Special groups need counseling based on the situation they are going through. For example, street children need counseling to avoid becoming criminals.

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