The insincerity, lying, and downright double standards of the Zimbabwe regime over the emotive issue of patriotism, is a very dangerous dagger hanging over the nation, as the continued abuse and mishandling of such a powerful concept can easily lead to instability and insecurity in this southern African country.
As the ruling ZANU PF parliamentarians ramp up their attempts to push through a gravely ill-advised, ill-conceived, and purely fascist legislation, undoubtedly meant to cover up the Zimbabwe ruling junta’s gross violations of human rights, rampant corruption, and general injustices perpetrated against the citizenry – a dark perilous cloud of uncertainty, and potential destabilization of this peaceful country menacingly looms over all of us.
This law, deceptively and hypocritically misnamed the ‘Patriotic Act’, will arguably be the single most draconian and tyrannical piece of legislation that this regime – which has made an uneviable career of oppressing, brutalizing, and massacring voices of dissent, and tribes considered ‘unwelcome’, since coming into power after the country attained independence from Britain in 1980 – has ever enacted in its 40 year old heinous misrule.
The government’s plan to criminalize and vilify anyone who supposedly “campaigns against one’s country”, and “private correspondence by self-serving citizens with a foreign government, an official, or agent”, is nothing more than the height of absurdity, at the very best, and outrightly fascist, at worst – as it is a well-known fact that this is merely a lopsided attempt in trampling upon citizens’ constitutional rights of peaceful demonstration and expression, as well as freedom of speech and the media.
For starters, what exactly is to “campaign against one’s country”? How does one define that?
As a social justice activist, writer, author, and speaker – who has been speaking out, for over three decades, against the untoward and unacceptable cold-hearted oppression, injustices and brutality meted upon the ever-suffering innocent people of Zimbabwe (whose cruelty and barbarity border on sadism and satanism) by an administration that knows no shame – I have learnt the hard way what that meant.
It simply means that anyone who exposes such heinous anti-people and anti-God policies, corruption, and hatefulness at the blood-dripping hands of the Zimbabwe regime, is, effectively, “campaigning against one’s country” – and, as such, is labelled ‘unpatriotic’, who, should this ‘Patriotic Act’ come into operation, be liable to prosecution.
Those who have been involved in this activism have already tasted the wrath of the Zimbabwean authorities, as many have been arrested on spurious charges with hardly any convictions, on top of numerous reports of threats, beatings up, torture, burning down of homes, as well as alleged abductions, and sexual violations.
Such is the animosity and vindictiveness the regime has towards those who fearlessly expose, and stand up against, its brazen human rights abuses, shameless corruption, and numerous other callous social injustices.
Is there, then, any wonder why they would be so eager to promulgate such a medieval piece of legislation?
To further prove the duplicity, deception, and insincerity of this proposed law – when I write and expose the brutalization of Zimbabweans under the ZANU PF regime, immediately I am attacked by many as being ‘unpatriotic’ – for ostensibly, “campaigning against my own country” – yet, when I exposed Zimbabweans’ suffering under opposition MDC-run local authorities, those same accusers are gravely silent.
Why do they not attack me – accusing me of being ‘unpatriotic’, and embarking on a “campaign against one’s country” – when I speak out against more or less the same social injustices Zimbabweans are being subjected to by their government, when being done by local authorities?
What is the difference if I condemned the ZANU PF regime’s senseless and repugnant corruption and incompetence, that has bankrupted a once prosperous and proud nation, grounding it into a basket and charity case, whose citizens have been forced to live from hand to mouth – and, when I call out the opposition MDC, whose own corruption and mismanagement has led to the degradation of our once gleaming and beautiful cities and towns, into modern-day pathetic and disgraceful rural areas, whereby urban folk have to fetch water from boreholes, and roads appear like landmine craters?
Which criticism between the two is considered ‘patriotic’, and which is ‘unpatriotic’ – and, why?
After the enactment of this notorious ‘Patriotic Act’, will anyone who speaks out against urban council authorities also face the full wrath of this Nazi-era law?
In fact, will we see the president Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, and other senior ZANU PF and government officials being arrested, and hauled before the courts (possibly in handcuffs and leg irons), since they have been at the forefront of also “campaigning against one’s country”, by their loud and relentless attacks of the corruption and maladministration in local governments?
There is undeniable insincerity, lying, and hypocrisy as far as this ‘Patriotic Act’ is concerned, and should be fervently resisted by all democracy loving people, who are truly patriotic – as they should understand that genuine patriotism entails loving of one’s country, which is exhibited by an unparalleled devotion to the welfare of one’s fellow compatriots, such that, is prepared to fearlessly and relentlessly stand up against any unpatriotic acts that loot one’s nation’s resources, brutalizes the populace, and subjects them to suffering and poverty.
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and speaker. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700, or Calls Only: +263782283975 / +263733399640, or email: [email protected]Post published in: Featured