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Cabinet approves Criminal Law amendments

Local News
Jenfan Muswere

GOVERNENT has approved amendments to the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act to punish people whose conduct is deemed to hurt the country’s interests as well as provide mandatory sentences for rape and murder.

Addressing journalists during a post-Cabinet briefing yesterday, acting Information minister Jenfan Muswere said: “Cabinet considered and approved the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Amendment Bill, 2022.

“The Bill enhances the provisions of the Criminal Law Code in matters relating to the country's sovereignty through the criminalisation of conduct that undermines Zimbabwe's sovereignty, dignity, independence and national interests.

“The Bill also provides for a mandatory sentence in rape and murder cases. In addition, it expands the definition of "dangerous drugs" and also amends the elements which form the crime of abuse of public office”.

An amendment to the criminal law to punish people for undermining the country’s interests follows a push by the ruling Zanu PF party for the enactment of a Patriot Act.

Under the proposed Act, people viewed as unpatriotic by allegedly undermining the national interest abroad could face criminal charges.

The proposed Act was criticised as undemocratic by rights watchdogs.

Government has made several attempts to close civic space through existing and new legislation.

This includes amendments to the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act that are in the Cyber and Data Protection Act and also the proposed Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill.

Muswere also said Zimbabwe had harvested 255 618 tonnes of wheat.

“We have sadly lost 3 980 hectares of wheat crop to rain damage. A total of $25,161 billion and US$24 million has since been paid out to farmers for grain intake since April 1, 2022. Current wheat stocks at Grain Marketing Board stand at 160 262 tonnes, while the millers have 33 500 tonnes in stock.”


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