Senate Passes "Patriotic Bill"3 months ago
The Upper House of Parliament, the Senate on Wednesday passed the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Amendment Bill, often referred to as the Patriotic Bill.
The Bill will now be sent to President Emmerson Mnangagwa for his assent for it to become an Act.
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, said the Bill was not meant to outlaw criticism of the Government or the President. He said:
We are not trying to inflict pain on anyone, but we want to deal with those individuals who engage foreign governments or their agents in meetings, calling for trade boycotts or imposition of sanctions against the country and causing suffering to ordinary people.
The Bill seeks to amend the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Chapter 9:23], which has four clauses, three of which have been described as progressive excluding Clause 2.
Are you a Civil Servant or Pensioner in Zimbabwe?
Get a smartphone 📱 on Zero Deposit. 24 hours to process.
Clause 3 will amend Section 65 of the Principal Act to make 15 years the minimum required punishment for rape, in response to the rise in crimes of sexual violence and rape.
Clause 4 proposes to amend Section 155 of the main Act’s definition of dangerous drugs to include prepared opium, prepared cannabis resin, and a drug schedule.
Clause 5 proposes to amend Section 174 of the main Act as the existing definition of criminal abuse of office, as provided for in Section 174 (i), is fairly broad, allowing public officials to be charged for honest mistakes made while doing their duties.
The proposed amendments to Clause 2 (3) read as follows:
Any citizen or permanent resident of Zimbabwe who, within or outside Zimbabwe, intentionally partakes in any meeting, whose object or one of whose objects the accused knows, or has reasonable grounds for believing involves the consideration of or the planning for the implementation or enlargement of sanctions or a trade boycott against Zimbabwe (whether those sanctions or that boycott is untargeted or targets any individual or official, or class of individuals or officials), but whose effects indiscriminately affect the people of Zimbabwe as a whole, or any substantial section thereof shall be guilty of wilfully damaging the sovereignty and national interest of Zimbabwe and liable to…
The clause provides penalties that include a fine not exceeding level twelve or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years, or both.
More: Pindula News