A Bill purportedly crafted to protect against the wilfully injuring the sovereignty and national interest of Zimbabwe” has been signed into law by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

President Mnangagwa has signed the controversial Patriotic Bill into law and it has since been published in the Government Gazette.

However, critics say the interpretation of what consists willfully injuring the sovereignty and national interests will be contested and abused by captured judicial officers.

They say the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Amendment Act has been condemned by human rights actors both home and internationally as an instrument meant to punish critics of the corrupt and repressive ZANUPF regime!

Commenting on the matter, prominent investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono says:

“This draconian law closes the little free speech space which was available as it violates the Zimbabwean constitution right to free speech. It will see many opposition, government critics and journalists jailed for exercising their constitutional rights.

“Currently Zimbabwe has 2 political prisoners jailed for speaking out against repression and corruption.

“Opposition MP and lawyer, Job Sikhala has been in jail for over one year without bail or conviction.

“Political activist Jacob Ngarivhume was jailed for 4 years for speaking out against corruption and organizing an anti-corruption march.

“The regime inspects twitter handles of opposition politicians, critics and journalists for anything that offends it and gets them arrested at times using laws that don’t exist.

“So this law is meant to muzzle them! Today is a dark day for Zimbabwe!