Speaking in the National Assembly during debate on the motion which is calling for the enactment of the Patriotic Bill, Honourable Molokela-Tsiye said the Bill is mistimed and he will never support it.
“I want to air my opinion with regards to the debate. I think for me the starting point is that I need to be clear, that I do not support this motion.
“I think this motion is mistimed and misplaced. Starting by the definition of patriotism- patriotism is an act of love and commitment. It comes from the heart of the person. You cannot legislate and dictate patriotism.
“As Zimbabweans, we should focus on nation-building. We should focus on things that unite us as a people. Whilst we want to build this nation together, we do not need to have Parliament debating something like a Patriotism Bill because if all is indeed going well, then everyone will be happy and everyone will be proud to be associated with this country,” he said.
Molokela-Tsiye added, “In my view, those who have moved this motion have put the cart before the horse. There are a lot of unresolved issues in this country that need to be addressed by this Parliament.
“If it is indeed the people’s Parliament, it must be sensitive to the reality of the issues on the ground. For us to debate this kind of motion is a very disappointing situation for the Parliament of Zimbabwe.
People have pain from past events
“Our people are suffering right now and they are suffering due to bad political decisions made by our leaders. Decisions made in the past have brought so much pain to the people of Zimbabwe. We can give examples of history. In 1982 to 1986, thousands of people were killed in Matabeleland North and Midlands and up to today this Parliament of Zimbabwe has not taken a clear stance in making sure that the people of the Midlands and Matabeleland are fully restored to the national development agenda.
“Up to today, they remain marginalised from the national development agenda. So you cannot as a Parliament of Zimbabwe come back to the people of Matabeleland and people of the Midlands who were victimised in this country and teach them about patriotism before you address the issues that affect them today.
“Some do not have birth certificates, some do not know where their relatives are buried, some were forced to go to Botswana and South Africa and they are still displaced as refugees and asylum seekers in foreign countries.
“You cannot preach patriotism to them. You need to address the situation on the ground. Today in Zimbabwe, mining investments are being done and in my constituency Hwange Central, we have got investors coming, imposing themselves and defying the local community and you want those people to become patriotic.
“When they see someone from China being given special treatment by their own government at their expense, their culture, history, heritage and you want to force them to be patriotic. There are mistakes that are being made right now by the political leadership of this country.
“Moral mistakes around corruption, gender-based violence, sexual harassment and all these issues are being allowed to happen and people are being allowed to go scot-free. If people try to go onto the streets to raise a concern about these unpatriotic acts by our political leaders, it is those who are protesting who are being incarcerated and it is them who are demonstrating in line with Section 59 of the Constitution of this country who are being denied bail for weeks while those who assume to be the most corrupt politicians in this country but connected to the elite are given bail the next day. This is a gross miscarriage of justice.
Speaking ills against the country
“I also wanted to address the issue around Zimbabweans who are being accused of speaking ill about their own country. We must not be surprised that this is happening. How many Zimbabweans have been displaced from their country in the last 25 years? We have got millions of Zimbabweans who should be in this country who have been forced out of this country.
“They are stranded in Botswana, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique, South Africa, America and the UK and all over Europe and some in Australia and New Zealand. The so-called Diaspora are Zimbabweans who were forced out of this country. Has this Parliament taken time to ask them about patriotism why they are in Johannesburg or why they are in Hillbrow?
“Has this Parliament of Zimbabwe taken time to understand why they cannot come back to Zimbabwe? Even Lovemore Majaivana is now in America. Our prophet for the people of Matabeleland is stranded in America. Is he going to be labelled unpatriotic without the Parliament of Zimbabwe understanding why he is stranded in America and he cannot be in his beloved city of Bulawayo?
“This is the question that the Parliament of Zimbabwe should be addressing. We cannot force our citizens to be patriotic and we cannot legislate laws to force people to be patriotic. What we need to do as representatives of the people of Zimbabwe is to come up with laws that make it easier for development to happen.
“For example, right now we have got the 2013 Constitution that clearly articulated the devolution agenda. The Parliament of Zimbabwe should be debating seriously about making sure that there is a law on devolution on the ground. The Parliament of Zimbabwe should make sure that devolution helps to bring development to the people on the ground. This is what a people-based Parliament of Zimbabwe should be worried about. It should be worried about the social welfare of the people of Zimbabwe. Right now we have got lockdown restrictions and people are facing hunger across the country and that is what we should be debating about.
“So I am totally disappointed by this motion and this whole talk about patriotism which is forced onto the people. We need to work on things on the ground instead of focusing on cheap politicking and pretending of things that are not there. The people’s Parliament must listen to the conscience of the nation and as things stand right now, there is no debate that it is hard to be patriotic in this country. The economy is doing badly and people are suffering. Poverty is the order of the day in a country that has got 60 minerals and that has been blessed with a lot of natural resources.
“We want to encourage the Parliament of Zimbabwe, including myself to be honest in our conversation and start to focus on issues that give daily bread to our people. This talk about patriotism is misplaced and it should not be allowed to continue in this Parliament, in my view. I am very disappointed that we are still focusing on such issues when we have got political prisoners in this country. We have got civil society activists who have been arrested and denied bail in this country for standing up for the truth or being the true patriots of this country for saying let the law be applied equally, let it not be selectively applied.
“Other people from a political party can host public events, government officials can host public events but if someone from civil society or opposition does the same thing, they are immediately arrested and even denied bail for weeks. This is what will make people not to be happy. Patriotism would only be promoted if everyone is treated equally before the law.
“So I would like to say that true patriotism will come from the heart of the people. Do not force them. Parliament should not force our people to be patriotic. Do not pass laws that are fascist, laws that are dictatorial in nature and say that the people of Zimbabwe are free. Let them be free to express their voices. Why are you trying to use the Parliament of Zimbabwe to force people to be patriotic when there is nothing to be patriotic about? Please stop it. Stop it! Thank you Mr Speaker sir. #PatrioticBillZW Get more Covid-19 Stats from CovidZW.info