ZANU PF has reportedly sponsored an organisation called Varakashi4ED to petition Attorney-General Prince Machaya to fast-track the drafting of the Patriotic Bill.
The Patriotic Bill was mooted a few years ago and the drafting of the proposed law was accepted by the Government in October 2020.
The Bill, if passed into law, will punish citizens for communicating with foreign governments or any officer or agent. The petition delivered to Machaya by Varakashi4ED reads:
As Varakashi4ED, we are outraged and concerned that in spite of the destructive effect of the sanctions on Zimbabwe being so obvious and so acknowledged by a majority of the international community, there are some Zimbabweans who have proved to be unpatriotic malcontents, hell-bent on begging for the sanctions to stay on.
We, therefore, call upon your (Machaya’s) esteemed office to do its part pronto and assist the Government of Zimbabwe to enact the Patriotic Act, which should be equivalent to the United States of America’s Logan Act, which in essence prohibits and criminalises Zimbabwean citizens and residents from engaging in unauthorised foreign negotiations, parallel diplomacy, foreign lobbying, sanctions incitement and foreign political and economic relations with countries in dispute with Zimbabwe or hostile to Zimbabwe.
ZANU PF National Assembly chief whip Pupurai Togarepi on Tuesday told NewsDay that the Bill will be brought before Parliament as soon as possible. Said Togarepi:
There have been around 10 motions by MPs agitating for the enactment of the Patriotic Act.
The recent debate in Parliament was instigated by a petition by an organisation called Zimbabwe Anti Sanctions Trust.
The motion was adopted and we expect Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi to bring the Bill as soon as possible.
However, political commentators say the proposed law is meant to silence the opposition ahead of the 2023 elections.