Parliament of Zimbabwe

In a landmark legislative session chaired by Deputy Speaker Hon. Mavetera on Wednesday, the Zimbabwe Minister of Justice, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs Honorable Ziyambi took the floor to present proposed amendments to the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Amendment Bill.

The Minister began, stating, “Any citizen or permanent resident of Zimbabwe who, within or outside Zimbabwe, intentionally partakes in any meeting, whose object or one of whose objects the accused knows, or has reasonable grounds for believing involves the consideration of or the planning for the implementation or enlargement of sanctions or a trade boycott against Zimbabwe (whether those sanctions or that boycott is untargeted or targets any individual or official, or class of individuals or officials), but whose effects indiscriminately affect the people of Zimbabwe as a whole, or any substantial section thereof, shall be guilty of willfully damaging the sovereignty and national interest of Zimbabwe and liable to…”

According to Rutendo Matinyarare of the Zimbabwe Anti-Sanctions Movement (ZASM)bill also known as the Patriotic Act, is a hybrid of the Logan Act and USA. “4 years after I proposed a hybrid of the Logan Act and USA PATRIOTIC ACT, the Patriotic Act has finally been enacted by our parliament,” said triumphal Matinyarare.

The proposed amendments raised eyebrows and sparked debate among lawmakers and observers. The inclusion of such language regarding meetings related to sanctions or trade boycotts against Zimbabwe drew attention to the government’s stance on external pressures and its determination to protect the country’s sovereignty and national interest.

Vocal independent member of the parliament, Hon. Mliswa disassociated himself from the proceedings and voiced his intention to distance himself from the bill, citing the perceived waste of taxpayers’ money and the lack of effectiveness from some lawmakers.

“I am not part of this Bill, and will never be part of this mess that has happened today, it is a waste of taxpayers’ money. No wonder why some of you did not come back, you are useless. No wonder why you were voted out, you did nothing to this Parliament,” said Mliswa.

The Patriotic Bill sailed through with an overwhelming majority. Ninety-nine (99) members of parliament voted for, and seventeen against. Among the NO voters were the main opposition leaders namely; Hon. Biti L. T., Hon. Chamisa S., Hon. Chibaya A., Hon. Chidakwa J., Hon. Chidziva H., Hon. Chimina L., Hon. Hamauswa S., Hon. Hwende C., Hon. Matewu C., Hon. Mliswa T. P., Hon. Murai E., Hon. Mutseyami C. P., Hon. Sibanda D. P., Hon. Siband L., Hon. Tekeshe D., Hon. Tembo M., Hon. Tobaiwa J.

While anti-Western sanctions campaigners are in jubilation, critics have expressed concern about the potential implications of these amendments on balancing between safeguarding national sovereignty and upholding “fundamental rights and freedoms”.

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