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Proposed Law On Patriotism Shows Dictatorial Tendencies - Masunungure

Proposed Law On Patriotism Shows Dictatorial Tendencies - Masunungure

Political commentators have accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government of trying to instill fear in citizens and the opposition after Cabinet last Tuesday approved the principles for enacting the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Amendment Bill.

The proposed legislation contains clauses that seek to punish “unpatriotic citizens” and enforce patriotism.

Critics, however, say the proposed law will further close the democratic space as the country heads to the 2023 general elections.

University of Zimbabwe political scientist Eldred Masunungure said the Bill shows dictatorial tendencies. He said:

The Bill is just there to inject fear into the targeted institutions and political parties.

It may backfire for the regime as this defeats the whole purpose of re-engagement.

The Bill will also target key leaders in the opposition, but the difficulty of enforcing the proposed Act is that it will need a lot of surveillance and it is difficult.

Another political commentator, Rejoice Ngwenya, said the Bill curtails individuals’ right to freedom of expression. Said Ngwenya:

It will create a basis for prosecution based on legislative falsehoods.

This can be contested in the Constitutional Court because we are free to express ourselves.

ZANU PF Chief Whip Pupurai Togarepi first suggested the need for a Patriotic Act in 2018 to punish Zimbabweans who advocate for economic sanctions to be imposed on the country.

ZANU PF later moved a motion in Parliament on the proposed Bill in March 2021.

Last Tuesday, Cabinet approved the principles for enacting the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Amendment Bill, which will make it a criminal offence for citizens to advocate for sanctions or embargoes to be imposed on Zimbabwe by foreign governments.

United States-based researcher Madison Mandell said the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Amendment Bill seeks to close down the remaining democratic space in Zimbabwe. Mandell said:

The vague language of the Bill creates a rare opportunity for the ruling party to apply it as a means of stifling freedom of expression, which effectively would close down any remaining democratic ‘space’ in Zimbabwe.

The legislation criminalizes almost any speech that is critical of the government or that draws attention to the state’s dire issues.

These limitations on free speech not only violate the freedoms guaranteed by the 2013 constitution but also jeopardise the prospects to strengthen democracy.

The ability to hold governments accountable is one of the main reasons that free expression is central to democracy; the Bill is a complete assault on accountability.

| The Standard

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21 Comments

Voter 2 months ago

2023 elections we will voice our disapproval in great numbers to this bill.


CIO 2 months ago

Ed has my vote
I want sovereignty n dignity
Not puppet leadership
Our Zim with people who pray
Say no to gay Marriage


2 months ago

Baba namai vako ndoma papets.

Patriotic Front 2 months ago

But why would a Zimbabwean (patriotic or not) travel to Geneva to tell whites that the Zanu PF government is corrupt.You will be smearing the whole country, the whites will not believe that only a section of Zimbabweans is corrupt.
There is this fallacy out there that once the opposition party gets into power there will be no corruption, civil servants will be paid handsomely and hospitals will be fully equiped.


Pathetic Front 2 months ago

Is it Patriotic for a whole President to go to Addis Ababa to lie about non-existent sanctions?

Is it patriotic for a fired Deputy president to topple his boss?

Is is patriotic for a general to unseat his Commander in Chief?

Is it patriotic to mortgage the whole country to the Chinese?
Is it patriotic for a government to support looting by Delish Nguwaya paying him US$22,000 for putting up a squatter camp at Pomona Dumpsite?

Sanctions are real 2 months ago

Sanctions are real as they relate to international financial arrangements and transactions.Ask those in industry.Strive Masiiwa has said they must be removed, Chamisa has also said they must go.
BOTH sanctions and corruption must go

Mdc 4ED 2 months ago

Foreign govts don't need Biti to tell them things are bad in Zim. They have foreign missions for that. And Zim has a foreign minister to set the record straight where there is confusion

2 months ago

It's no fallacy. Look what is happening in Zambia nekuda kwe change of government.

Crocodile 2 months ago

Corruption yakazara mhani mochema nemasanctions muchiita catch and realise vanhu kana vaba ngavaende kujeri


Chinese zodiac 2 months ago

hakuna musha usina gonzo kana muroyi asi mazimba tinobva tatoita kunge nyenzee ruzha kutaura zvisina basa pamusoro penyika yedu makamboenda kuzambia here or some of our neighboring countries and witness their day in day out way of life unotoona kuti muno titori better stereki patsvimbo yekuti munhuuzvishandire ushandire ramangwana remhuri yako uri busynesocial media kus****podza nekutaurazvisina maturo ,muka unotsvaga basa uko heeee hurumende yakashata heee chiii chiiii zvinokupa $ mumba mako here izvozv even chamisa akaita president as long une chimentality chekungoti gvt have to provide unofa ungori rombe watovee rombe rekupedzisira chaito kutokunda zvautori izvzv pakutong E.D


Mdc 4ED 2 months ago

If u haven't noticed vanhu vakawanda varikutambura economically ndeve zanu, vanonyengedzwa ne packet resugar/ mbeu. The rest of us just want a free Zim, without the intimidatory laws. Todawo 5tv stations like South Africa. Todawo kupiwa minda pasina kunzi tanga wasapota ZANU....

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Ma C matatu 2 months ago

Our Change Champion in Charge has also weighed in to say these *non-existent* sanctions must be removed.


Sanctions List 2 months ago

We have placed the few CCC supporters around Gutu/Mupandawana under sanctions.This should not affect the rest of the country.


VYBZ KARTEL 2 months ago

Blonchwai


Vesto 2 months ago

Chamisa doesn't speak for me.
Strive Masiiwa is not my spokesman.

You want me to support removal of sanctions against Anselem Sanyatwe who ordered the shooting of 24 innocent civilians?

You want me to support the removal of sanctions against Godwin Matanga who arrests Sikhala 68 times without any conviction?

You want me to support Matanga who arrests Nyatsime 16 and yet ignores one Mberengwa bishop who promotes violence against Chamisa and family?

You want me to support Zimbabwe Defence Industries which manufactures bullets to kill unarmed civilians?

You want me to removal of sanctions against Tagwireyi who got IS$ from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and externalised it to Mauritius when the country cannot import fuel?

If you think I can support removal of sanctions against the above, then you need to have your head examined. If you expect me to support Sanyatwe, Matanga, Tagwireyi and ZDI, then I am telling you as politely as I can - F.U.C.K. YOU


ugly vesto 2 months ago

well there is a contagion from sanctions imposed by OFAC.the British do not matter very much in the sanctions conundrum

CCC 2 months ago

I don't understand all this hullabaloo about Zanu PF. This time next year the CCC party will be in power, so its our party which will enforce the Patriotic Bill against any malcontents.


Vesto 2 months ago

@CCC, bad legislation is bad legislation, irrespective of who manages it.

Imagine if the Ten Commandments included one which said, "Steal but do not be caught" or "Commit adultery as long as you are not caught out" or "Kill your enemy as long as you cover up the murder".

Law and Maintenance Order (LOMA) was enacted by Smith and it is still on the statute books as POSA, but that doesn't make it any better because it is being administered by blacks.

We shouldn't legislate for virtue because those who we think are virtuous will end up more oppressive as Mugabe and Mnangagwa have shown us. We didn't think we would get to a point where we would say Smith was better, but here we are. We are now saying things were better under Smith

Tang kua 2 months ago

A I d s irikupengesa zanupf president he thinks kuti ichapera kana akaisa zvi mabils zveku oppresa ma opposition but not that, we used to watch him on a ztv haaaaaa Hutano hapachina


X 2 months ago

What surprises me is the American guy commenting about the democratic space in Zimbabwe, where is Snowden, Julius, the guys are running away from the American government, vatori nemutemo wakadaro, patriotism ndoya manje, they are a republican not a democracy, not forgetting monarch yeku Britain, those western guys doesn't have the moral ground to lecture us about human, their history is full of injustices they committed against people of color around the world, the most cruel crimes ever committed, bill bhoo, mwana anoshora nekufumura vanhu vekumba kwavo nokuti apakurirwa sadza pa next door anorohwa stereki


@denier 2 months ago

Hant moti mune ma seats akawanda, saka makadini kuvhotera no pa bill racho



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