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“Zimbabwe’s Patriotic Bill Endangers Freedom of Expression”

"Zimbabwe's Patriotic Bill Endangers Freedom of Expression"
Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa (C) inspects the guard of honour from a car during the Defence Forces Day celebrations held at the National Sports Stadium in Harare on August 14, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Jekesai NJIKIZANA

“Zimbabwe’s Patriotic Bill Endangers Freedom of Expression”

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has stated that after Cabinet adopted the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Amendment Bill 2022, freedom of expression is under threat.

After introducing Patriotic Measure sections, the bill will criminalize action deemed unpatriotic or undermining Zimbabwe’s sovereignty.

ZCTU stated in a statement obtained by Pindula News that Zimbabwe does not require the law. Read the following statement:

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) notes with great concern and alarm that Cabinet has approved the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Amendment Bill 2022, that will impose stiff penalties to Zimbabweans who are alleged to be campaigning against perceived national interests.

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The Statement by the government indicate that the Bill will criminalize any conduct that is deemed to undermine Zimbabwe’s sovereignty, dignity and national interest. The Bill effectively bars Zimbabwean from talking to foreign governments on the prevailing situation in the country. Even in our African tradition, when a father beats his children, the children can approach neighbours for mediation. Zimbabwe does not need this Bill and by approving this law, the Government is shooting itself in the foot as this will cement the widely held view that Zimbabwe is under authoritarian rule.

There is no doubt that this Bill will be used as a weapon against opponents of the government to clampdown on dissenting voices. The ZCTU believe that issues to do with patriotism should not be imposed on citizens and patriotism does not mean keeping quiet when there is bad governance. Noone has a right to prescribe to Zimbabweans what is and what is not patriotism.

With elections drawing closer, the ZCTU also believes this Bill is meant to instill fear to the society and Zimbabweans not to speak out on issues to do with violence, harassment and intimidation that have been a hallmark of our elections over the years. The Bill is a direct attack on democracy, freedom of expression and association. If it passed, it will confirm that indeed the government enjoys tightening its noose on Zimbabweans.

The ZCTU demands that legislators in Parliament reject the Bill and ensure that Zimbabweans’ right to freedom of expression and association, which are ar teed in our Constitution, are protected.


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In other news,

Value-Added Tax Deferral Minimum Threshold Raised To $1 Million


Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said that the minimum threshold for VAT deferral has been raised from US$500,000 to US$1 million.

The government approved a temporary exemption from paying VAT on selected capital items imported by enterprises in the manufacturing, agricultural, mining, aviation, transportation, and health sectors.

Ncube stated that the facility was being overused in his national budget presentation for 2023…continue reading

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