Opinion

The Patriots Act: A Zanu PF way of trapping themselves

By Anonymous

Zanu PF, the party with a two-thirds majority in Zimbabwe’s Parliament is contemplating championing a law which makes it criminal to speak against the interests of the country.

One of the most vocal proponents of this Act is the Zanu PF Chief Whip Pupurai Togarepi, who happens to be the party’s youth leader.

His age is immaterial, just because someone has been alive for a long time, it does not mean he cannot be a youth leader.

His relevance here is, he is the chief whip of the party with the majority.

As much a whisper from him can get him all the necessary support from his party’s Parliamentarians.

The law he and his comrades are proposing will bar anyone from supporting sanctions, speaking ill of the country to foreigners.

They say people who are using their word of mouth to speak against Zimbabwe and how it has repeatedly let down its otherwise hardworking citizens will be arrested under this law.

If it was not anchored on selfish interests, it would have been interesting to listen to the arguments.

Zanu PF has not been the best governing party in the country.

The law is meant to ensure there are no detailed conversations on their shortcomings on the global arena.

At a time where there is a conflation of party and state with Zanu PF in power, how will people be able to differentiate between that party’s interest and what is good for Zimbabwe?

This law appears to be an attempt to insulate Zanu PF from criticism, the easier way would be to institute reforms, but it appears they would rather scare people into silence.

But on second thoughts, the law may be a good idea.

It just needs to be widened beyond words; actions too should be incorporated on the list of offences.

Some adages are clichés because of the truth they carry, actions speak louder than words.

No single organisation in Zimbabwe has through their actions prejudiced the country more than Zanu PF and the Act, if implemented properly should bite those pushing for it.

A few examples without context for perspective: August 1 2018, US$15 billion, Internet shutdown, Non-payment of loans and Private jet from Harare to Bulawayo.

Opposition members should agree to the Act, but slide in the fact that actions too must carry consequences.

We might see a classic case of people stewing in their own heat.

The truth of the matter is our erstwhile comrades want to use the law to clamp on alternative ideas.

They are fully aware of their shortcoming and their prominent role in creating the mess Zimbabwe finds itself entangled in.

Zanu PF wants to cushion itself from criticism by threading national and their greedy interest together.

It would be a crying shame if the law is allowed to sail.

It is a threat to freedom of expression, association and conscience.

This could mark the beginning of the feared mutilation of the 2013 Constitution which was resoundingly voted for by Zimbabweans.

Zanu PF sympathisers thrive on false equivalents they will clutch at straws to justify their latest assault on the body-Politik in Zimbabwe.

Sanctions have been blamed for everything and true to form, they are also being used to justify the proposition.

The claim is, there are opposition members who in the early 2000s went to America to beg for sanctions.

Whether true or not we will never know, our politicians don’t write books.

The thinking that there are people who have social capital with Americans or Europeans to the extent of directing their foreign policy is as weird as it is laughable.

Sanctions cannot be slapped without justification.

A country that bars opposition from demonstrating has the public media under claws and is not accountable to its people does not need someone to lobby for sanctions.

The misbehaviour by those whose decisions affect us all is the reason why there are sanctions, among other reason.

These people.

They pretend not to like countries they term the West but they copy from them when it is convenient.

The Patriots Act will be centred on the Logan Act from America.

So, in perspective, Zimbabwe is a country which is copying a law from another country to stop its people from going to the country where the law originated from, to tell the truth about how it treats its citizens.

If this does not spin your head, nothing will.

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is a male journalist in Zimbabwe and has been practising since September 2009. He used to the editor for The Business Connect (newspaper) in Harare, has his own news website Tourism Focus which is biased towards the tourism sector. Daniel is also working with Magamba Network on their project called Open Parliament where they do live coverage of Parliamentary activities on Twitter and Facebook. He is currently the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum, is a member of Zimbabwe Small Broadcasters Association and a board member of Digital Communication Network. He holds a Diploma in Communication and Journalism from the Christian College of Southern Africa (CCOSA), a certificate in Youth leadership training from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a certificate in Citizen Journalism from Magamba Network and is currently a first-year student at Zimbabwe Open University studying for a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Ethics and Organisational Leadership.

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