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You cannot regulate patriotism, Parliament told

You cannot regulate patriotism, Parliament told

Gweru Urban legislator Brian Dube has told Parliament that patriotism cannot be regulated but that government must create opportunities that will make people love their country.

Zanu PF is trying to come up with the Patriotic Bill that is seen as a way of targeting its political opponents ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Zimbabwe is going to hold general elections in 2023 and various processes have already been summoned as part of the preparations.

However, the ruling party (Zanu PF) is reportedly sweating over the economic challenges that left the majority of the citizens in a worse state than they were before the 2018 elections.

The alleged growing support that is being enjoyed by Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa has also not gone unnoticed.

At one time, the ruling party tried to alter the age that is required for one to have attained to participate in the Presidential elections. The move was not popular as it was seen as being too direct.

However, the Patriotic Bill is seen as the best move that could block Chamisa or at least dent his chances.

However, Gweru Urban legislator Brian Dube says patriotism cannot be regulated, but that the government has the duty to make Zimbabweans feel loved so that they can become patriotic.

‘’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.

‘’If you are doing that, at what point do you expect that same person to cooperate with you when you do not regard them as human beings like you and a national leader like an MP cannot be acknowledged at national events and cannot be respected by anyone.

‘’The main challenge that we have in Zimbabwe is a majority of Zimbabweans, especially politicians. They love their political parties more than the country of Zimbabwe. The people that I have seen in my political journey love their political leaders and their Presidents at political party levels more than they love their country so that even if that person is wrong and messing up, they will not be in a position to say yes or no.

‘’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?

‘’Allow everyone to enjoy even when people come for Independence Day celebrations, acknowledge me as an MDC person when I come there. Accept that Zimbabwe has ZANU PF which is present at the Heroes Acre every time when you are burying a hero. Also, acknowledge that Brian Dube can come there as a member of the MDC and still is a member of Zimbabwe. Accept when you see Happymore Chidziva coming there and say this person is from CCC and is here and a Zimbabwean. That way, you would not need to then regulate anyone.

‘’The reason why people end up possibly doing what the Chief Whip was saying, trying to do things through unorthodox means, is because of the intolerance that is there that makes people end up going for other methods of trying to get their voices heard. If you cannot be heard in your own country, you may end up thinking that the audience from outside may be relevant.

‘’What I believe in is national dialogue. Let us agree that we need to dialogue as political actors. We need to dialogue as national leaders. We need to understand each other,’’ he said

You cannot regulate patriotism, Parliament told

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