HomeOpinion & AnalysisZanu PF's propensity to fight dissent regrettable

Zanu PF’s propensity to fight dissent regrettable


editorial comment

THE Zanu PF government’s habit of crafting laws specifically designed to fight opponents rather than serve citizens and the nation for posterity is quite regrettable, and simply demonstrates the regime’s lack of willingness to entrench a truly democratic political culture in the country.

The recently gazetted Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill crafted in response to global technological upheavals, has attracted a lot of criticism from the legal fraternity and other stakeholders. It will not be surprising, however, if the Zanu PF government okays this deeply flawed and defective piece of legislation because in its current form it will likely be used as a political instrument against dissent, which is generally on the rise because of the economic hardships afflicting the majority of citizens.

What Zanu PF fails to get is today they are in power, but tomorrow they may become opposition. So the key is to enact laws that benefit citizens regardless of political affiliation.
With corruption having become endemic in this country, government’s stance in dealing with graft either with kid gloves or in a manner that serves parochial political interests is also reflected in how the Bill fails to guarantee the protection of whistleblowers.

Quite clearly, corruption is likely to continue unabated as the Bill’s provisions show a lack of appetite to protect those who expose corruption.

This is not really surprising in a country where people have been arrested for reporting corruption while the accused walk scot-free.

One is tempted to believe that there is a sinister agenda behind this proposed piece of legislation. Laws must be based on sincerity, not sinister motives.

Laws must be crafted in a manner that builds public confidence in State institutions.

But the harassment and brutalisation of journalists and opposition politicians betrays the Bill as targeted at, among others, those who might use information in the public interest, but not palatable to government.

Clearly, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has never shown inclination towards opening up the democratic space and it is within this paradigm that the Bill must be contextualised.

Freedom of expression, which is a critical inalienable right, has also been significantly curtailed. In simple terms, the Bill says “journalism is a crime”.
Yet it is for the public good!

Recent Posts

Stories you will enjoy

Recommended reading