Zanu PF legislator for Mberengwa South Alum Mpofu yesterday moved a motion on the proposed Patriotic Bill which is seeking gag citizens from talking negatively about the country.
The Patriotic Bill is among a cocktail of Bills that the current government is reportedly interested in especially in the current session of Parliament.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his ministers have hinted on the Bill on several occasions.
Speaking in the National Assembly, Honourable Mpofu said, “I move the motion in my name that: COGNISANT that Zimbabwe’s image and national reputation are critical factors in attracting foreign investment;
“Concerned that the negative portrayal of the country’s image and reputation has an adverse and crippling impact on the country’s economic prospects especially on tourism, investment, and the welfare of the vulnerable such as youths, women and the disabled;
“Encouraged that other jurisdictions, recognising the need to preserve their image and soft power in a competitive global village, have enacted laws that bar their citizens from engaging in unpatriotic activities and communication intended to denigrate the integrity of their homeland;
“Buoyed by the fact that the overwhelming majority of Zimbabweans are focused on building the positive image of the country as a reforming, open, peaceful, and democratic country that is attractive to investment;
“Now therefore, call upon this august House to enact a law that:
a) recognises and celebrates efforts made by Zimbabwean citizens at home and abroad to promote the country’s positive image and brand; and
b) prohibits any Zimbabwean citizen from willfully communicating messages intended to harm the image and reputation of the country on international platforms or engaging with foreign countries with the intention of communicating messages intended to harm the country’s positive image, and or to undermine its integrity and reputation,” he said.
The Patriotic Bill should it see the light of the day is reportedly targeted at MDC Alliance officials who are accused of inviting sanctions on Zimbabwe.
Civic society organisations especially those that deal in human rights could also be affected by the Bill.
Zanu PF finally moves motion on Patriotic Bill