“Clause 2 of the Bill will insert a new section into the Code, creating the crime of “wilfully damaging the sovereignty and national interest of Zimbabwe”. The crime will be committed by a citizen or permanent resident of Zimbabwe who takes an active part in a meeting involving or convened by an agent of a foreign government, if the citizen or resident knows or has reason to believe that the object of the meeting is:
to consider or plan armed intervention in Zimbabwe by the foreign government, or
to subvert or overthrow the constitutional Zimbabwean government, or
to consider, implement or extend sanctions or a trade boycott against Zimbabwe, or against an individual or official if the sanctions or boycott affect a substantial section of the people of Zimbabwe” (Veritas Zimbabwe – ‘BILL WATCH 01-2023 – The Patriot Bill’ 11.01.2023).
If you ever think there is positive reforms or changes in the 2nd Republic… I hate to bring you the bad news, but your wrong. The current regime and leadership are doing whatever it can to contain, silence and find ways to criminalize the opponents.
The Patriotic Act is no difference. The new amendments of the Criminal Law Code are made to crackdown on dissidents. It is written so vaguely that the law enforcement and judiciary can easily use this against anyone. Therefore, this is happening ahead of the elections in August 2023.
The ones believing that ZANU-PF and President Emmerson Mnangagwa would make things better are terribly wrong. He is making things worse, and this sort of law is only showing what they intend to do. The ones who speak out or willingly questions the nature or the acts of the state can be deemed “unpatriotic” and become a felon because of it.
We can wonder what “wilfully damaging” is and what it pertains too. Just in the same manner of working to “consider, implement or extend sanctions or trade boycotts against Zimbabwe”. That is like saying unionising is wrong and planning boycotts is illegal. The Unions of Zimbabwe should be worried by this law. They are close to be outlawed by their own activity.
This is also putting harsh strings on the opposition. Who cannot speak their mind or even suggest certain things. The ability to gather, meet and plan certain things are now dangerous. Because the law is coming with severe penalties, and we know the state can detain opposition very easily.
The ones living in the Republic should be worried. These sorts of laws are made with one intent and that is to silence. They are made to not only limit the scope of a citizen, but also their ability to speak out against the injustice or impunity of the state. That’s why they are so severe with the punishments to silence its critics. Therefore, the ones believing or thinking that Mnangagwa wants to do good things… haven’t been following the class in session or dropped out early.
This Patriotic Act is a sign of the times ahead. The Crocodile plans to bite and now chew people. He will eat them alive and spit them out. If you thought the oppression was bad yesterday. It will be even worser tomorrow. He is just getting started and he does so ahead of the polls. There is no leeway or possible game-plan that gives anyone any hope. No, he wants to hold an iron grip and a stranglehold on the ones who opposes him. Peace.