Norton Independent Member of Parliament Temba Mliswa was thrown out of parliament yesterday, while debating the Patriotic Bill.
He was expelled for raising the emotive Gukurahundi genocide issue.
Gukurahundi was a Zanu PF political and ethnic campaign of violence and murder by the late former president Robert Mugabe in his frenzied bid to establish a one-party state and to die in power.
Civil society groups say at least 20 000 innocent citizens were killed by security forces between 1983-87.
The massacres have deeply divided and poisoned Zimbabwean society.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is accused of spearheading the campaign with many others, is currently trying to address the situation.
“Sad day for Democracy inside the walls of Parliament. I was removed from the house while debating the Patriotic Bill.
“I was told that I can not accuse a political party within Parliament of doing exactly what the accused party actually did,” Mliswa said.
However, Buhera West legislator Joseph Chinotimba supported the Patriotic Bill saying that “the patriotic bill is not targeting individuals nor political parties.
He added that people should not go around denouncing the country nor the President.
In August 2020, a motion on the need for a Patriot Bill was tabled in the Parliament of Zimbabwe.
The fundamental reason behind the bill’s proposal was to promote and guard the country’s national interests through criminalising acts that campaign against Zimbabwe, including—but not limited to—private correspondence with foreign governments or any officer or agent thereof, false statements influencing foreign governments, or any other such conduct aimed at undermining the country.
The Bill’s implications will allow the National Prosecuting Authority to institute criminal prosecution against anyone who, in its discretion, is undermining the country or using false statements to paint a certain bad picture of Zimbabwe to foreign governments.
Meanwhile, critics say should this bill, which reportedly silences any form of dissent, see the light of the day, it will open a gateway for legal propaganda in the name of pushing a positive narrative that paints the country in good standing.
They say patriotism cannot be created by legislation, adding that true patriotism ought to be an intrinsic feeling of appreciation of the good socio-economic welfare of the country, not a mandatory and repressive responsibility.