A ZANU PF affiliate, the Zimbabwe Against Sanctions Trust (ZAST), says it is lobbying for more deterrent sentences against individuals and groups suspected of tarnishing the country’s image.
ZAST said this after participating in anti-sanctions commemorations in Harare on Wednesday.
Addressing journalists after the commemorations, ZAST leader Norbert Hosho said they were lobbying for more laws for the criminalisation of individuals accused of hurting the country’s interests.
“For most of us, Zimbabwe is the only place which we call home and just as we initiated the enactment of the patriotic law, we will not hesitate to initiate processes leading to the prosecution of a few Zimbabweans who wilfully injure the national interest of our motherland,” he said.
“We have petitioned Parliament to enact a law which, among other things, criminalises the deliberate spread of false or incorrect news or information that would cause consumers to refrain from buying, or to disrupt the supply of goods to markets and thereby cause prices to rise.
Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda could not be reached to confirm receipt of the petition.
ZAST’s call for draconian legislations against Zimbabweans deemed not patriotic comes after President Emmerson Mnangagwa signed the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Amendment Bill 2022, commonly referred to as the “Patriot Bill.”
It criminalises “wilfully injuring the sovereignty and national interest of Zimbabwe”. Those found guilty risk losing citizenship, denial of the right to vote and a death penalty.
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Hosho also said they were lobbying for the setting up of a special anti-sanctions commission.
“ZAST presented a petition to Parliament on April 29, 2022 beseeching the House to set up a special anti-sanctions commission to be tasked with, among other things, investigating the misperceptions around the sanctions issue so that policy recommendations can be made out of the findings,” he said.
Zanu PF blames the targeted sanctions for impeding economic growth and causing widespread poverty.
The United States and European Union first imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe after 2000 over human rights violations and electoral theft.