By Leopold Munhende
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF is considering enacting a law that will make it criminal for any Zimbabwean to call for sanctions against the country or be found in any suspicious engagement with foreign enemies of the country.
This was revealed by party Chief Whip, Pupurayi Togarepi on the sidelines of a government organised anti-sanctions march in Harare on Friday.
“You will see from now going forward that those who go out looking for sanctions, talking to foreign forces against the people of Zimbabwe, asking for sanctions to be imposed on our people, as parliamentarians we will ensure we take a stance against them.
“It is not going to be business as usual,” he told NewZimbabwe.com.
Togarepi, who is also secretary for Zanu PF’s militant youth league, last year promised to push for the enactment of a Patriots Law he said should invite death by hanging as punishment if one is caught violating it.
The Zanu PF led administration accuses MDC of campaigning for the imposition of a travel ban and asset freeze on government officials.
The ruling party argues the sanctions were not targeted, as widely claimed by the opposition, but were affecting ordinary Zimbabweans.
Last week, MDC deputy president and Harare East MP, Tendai Biti was barred from contributing to a sanctions debate by National Assembly Speaker as he is being accused of being among those who fronted the call for sanctions.
Said Togarepi, “We have agreed that from now onward, certain characters from the opposition will not be allowed to debate issues concerning the people of Zimbabwe because they want all of them (Zimbabweans) dead.
“We have already initiated the process of coming up with something similar to the Patriots Act wherein no member of the public or a member of the legislature can go out of the country or associate with people who are against us as a people.
“They will not be allowed to do so without consequence from parliament or the law.
“We are coming up with a law that will ensure anyone who goes out sharing bad things about Zimbabwe, de-campaigning Zimbabwe will be arrested.”
During the period leading to the 2018 elections, three MDC Alliance top officials – Nelson Chamisa, Biti and Jacob Ngarivhume of Transform Zimbabwe – visited the United States of America to engage with different government officials in the US Congress, business people and Zimbabweans in the diaspora.
Chamisa told the media during their brief stay in the US, “What brought us here are issues of trying to advocate for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe, and peace and to try and bring solutions to the economic hardships facing the country, so that there is an end to the long queues at banks.
“We are here to ensure that we work together with the international community to guarantee that the economic, political and social problems in the country come to an end.”
Chamisa said they were asking rich individuals they met to “assist us to solve the problems in our country”.
But the MDC officials came under fire from the Zanu PF led government after their controversial trip was construed as yet another mission to call for sanctions.