The draft patriotic, a law which law prohibits citizens from conniving with hostile foreign governments to harm the country is set to be tabled in the cabinet.

The cabinet is set to consider its principal framework. The proposed law criminalises and imposes stiff penalties for campaigning against the country through private correspondence with foreign governments and harming national interests.

The Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs was tasked by the Cabinet Committee on National Peace and Reconciliation to draft this proposal.

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi is expected to table the Patriotic Bill principles in Cabinet. According to the Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs permanent secretary Mrs Virginia Mabhiza, the Patriotic Bill draws from similar legislation in other jurisdictions such as the Logan Act in the United States of America.

The main principles of this bill are that, it is the State’s mandate to engage other nations on issues pertaining to foreign relations. Acts that will be criminalised will include corresponding with a foreign government without approval, making false statements which harm the country and conniving with hostile foreign governments to harm the nation.

These principles quoting from Mrs Mabhiza are outlined as follows:

“The Bill is premised on the constitutional provision on the foreign policy of our country, which values the promotion and protection of the national interests of Zimbabwe,” she said.

“It is the duty of the State to engage other sovereign nations on issues pertaining to foreign relations, and not self-serving citizens.

“Conduct such as private correspondence with foreign governments or any officer or agent thereof will be prohibited, including false statements influencing foreign governments, or any other such conduct aimed at undermining the country.

“Private Citizens will have to avoid conduct such as traveling to foreign countries as self-appointed ambassadors, meeting foreign officials to undermine the national interest.

“Conniving with hostile foreign governments and nationals to inflict harm on the country and its citizens will be criminalised.

“All the above conduct will be criminalised and in the event of a conviction, stiff penalties will be imposed.”

The proposed law is not unique to Zimbabwe. The US government passed the Logan Act in 1799. It specifically prohibits citizens from negotiating with other nations on behalf of the United States without authorisation and makes it a crime for a citizen to confer with foreign governments against the interests of the United States.

However, the people of Zimbabwe welcomed this law with different views. Some considered it long overdue especially for the destabilising forces that seats with the US Congress campaigning for sanctions that have destabilised the nation.

On the other hand some opposition forces sees it as ‘one party state’ agenda by the Ruling Party and its desire to silence the opposition.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Tamblr @mygokwe

Be the first to receive our news

Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news updates 

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.