Zimbabwe’s new bill that imposes death penalty for ‘unpatriotic acts’
Zimbabweans who are found of engaging in what the government describes as “unpatriotic acts” now risk receiving a death penalty as punishment.
The country’s parliament on Thursday voted in favour of a controversial bill that imposes such a punishment.
Imposing heavy fines or even the death penalty on offenders are also part of the punishment regime.
Called the patriot clause of the Criminal Act, proponents say it targets those who harm the “national interest of Zimbabwe”.
There would be punishment for any citizen who meets a representative of a foreign country to encourage sanctions against Zimbabwe or to overthrow the government.
MPs voted 99 to 17 in favour of the law and it will now go to the senate before it is signed into law.
Critics say the legislation is unconstitutional as it would violate freedom of association and the right to free speech.
Western sanctions have heavily affected many senior government officials and state-owned companies over alleged human rights abuses.
Zimbabwe has been on a campaign to have foreign sanctions removed but that is taking time.
President Mnangagwa, became President in 2017 after his former boss, the late Robert Mugabe resigned.
Mugabe was forced out of power after a military takeover which many believe was masterminded by Mnangagwa.
Mnangagwa has since gone ahead to win an election and serving that term as president.
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