The Member of Parliament for Gweru Urban, Brian Dube (MDC Alliance), said patriotism cannot be regulated but the Government should create an environment that will make it natural for people to love their country.
ZANU PF is trying to come up with the Patriotic Bill that has been viewed as an attempt to weaken opposition political parties and make some politicians ineligible to contest elections.
A few years ago, ZANU PF tried to raise the minimum age for presidential candidates to at least 50 years, from the current 40, a move that was viewed as targeting CCC leader Nelson Chamisa who is in his mid-forties.
Speaking in the National Assembly last week, Dube said the starting point for inculcating patriotism is the tolerance for different political views and political parties. Dube said:
Our politics must be administered with tolerance, which means that we must be able to tolerate different political views and political parties as a starting point.
If we agree on that, it means we have a shared view. What is the problem in Zimbabwe currently is that there is no nation that was built since 1980.
After1980, we managed to build a country and we managed to define boundaries, but we did not manage to build a nation based on values and principles, which is why our politics has a lot of violence.
Our politics has a lot of hate speech as even my Chief Whip was indicating and someone was clapping hands and celebrating that an MP was ignored and denied a chair during a national function of the burial of a hero.
… So the problem that we have cannot actually be regulated through the Patriotic Bill because patriotism is not a concept that you can regulate through legal processes.
It is an attitude that one has towards their country. How do you cement patriotism, and make everyone feel that Zimbabwe is their home?
… If you cannot be heard in your own country, you may end up thinking that the audience from outside may be relevant.