The Patriotic Bill is uncalled for as it will not solve Zimbabwe’s problems, Gweru Urban legislator, Brian Dube, told the Parliament Tuesday.
The Bill, being pushed by ZANU-PF lawmakers, seeks to criminalise ‘unpatriotic’ conduct by Zimbabweans who criticize their country and call for sanctions.
“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,” argued Dube.
“It (Patriotism) is an attitude that one has towards their country. How do you cement patriotism? 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.”
He further said: “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.”
He said Zimbabweans were not free to express themselves in the country because of the culture of political intolerance.
“The intolerance that is there that makes people end up going for other methods of trying to get their voices heard,” he said.
“If you cannot be heard in your own country, you may end up thinking that an audience from outside may be relevant. What is best for this country is to elect Members of Parliament, councillors, and President on merit and not using these unorthodox means of violence and blackmailing and lying that certain people are not patriotic and certain people are. Patriotism is an element that is inherent in every human being and naturally, every Zimbabwean loves their country.”