Muzzling critics

Sinqobile Tessa
STERN: President Mnangagwa

If the Patriotic Act Bill is passed into law, there will be no more criticizing of the current regime.

The bill, which has been described as draconian and most repressive ever could have been passed into law on Monday but unfortunately for Zanu PF, they did not have the numbers then.

They were then hoping to mobilize more of their Parliamentarians on Tuesday to attend the August house and vote in favor of the bill.

Should they succeed, it will now be see no evil, hear no evil about the ruling party and the current leadership.

Outspoken journalist, Hopewell Chin’ono described the bill as “the worst that we seeing and only North Korea has matched ZanuPF’s repression.”

“Not even Mugabe sunk so low from the gutter into the sewer,” he tweeted.

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If the Act is passed and signed into law, it will be a crime to criticize the President and to say anything negative about the government of the day.

Journalists, the opposition and government critics will also find themselves behind bars should they expose any wrong doing by the government.

In other words, people would be expected to turn a blind eye even if they are not happy about what is going on in the country unless f course if they want to serve time in prison.

The debate of the bill or its passing if it succeeds comes as at a time when the country is preparing for polls which have been set for August.

President Emmerson Mngangagwa was expected to announce the election date on Sunday but had still not done so at the time of going to print.

This will be toughest election for the current government as it comes at a time when the economy has literally fallen apart.

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Inflation is currently pegged at 790 percent while the local currency has massively crashed against the United States dollar, prompting for calls to dollarize the economy.

Meanwhile, there is a widespread outcry over the voter’s roll as many names, especially of opposition politician seem to be missing while some people will now have to travel long distances to their new polling stations as a result of delimitation.

The voter’s roll was open for inspection last week and the exercise was supposed to end Wednesday but was extended for a day after several concerns were raised.

Unfortunately I did not have time to go and check that my name appears on the voter’s roll, in fact the main reason I did not go is the distance and the bad state of the road leading to our polling station.

Fingers crossed though that all is in order and that I will be able to cast my vote.

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