ZANU-PF South Africa spokesman, Kennedy Mandaza, says a new law which is currently in draft will protect Zimbabwe’s national security.
Mandaza said there are Zimbabweans who are denting the image of the country by campaigning for sanctions against Zimbabwe. This, he said, includes people who demonstrate at international gatherings.
Mandaza, who was speaking on SABC with Peter Ndoro, said there are some Zimbabweans who do not have the interests of the country at heart.
London based Human Rights Lawyer, Thompson Chengeta, who was part of the panel, said the law is unconstitutional and against UN standards. He said one of the promises of Mnangagwa’s new government was to put in place political reforms, including removing laws such as AIPPA. He said the law is undoing what the Mnangagwa did when he repealed AIPPA.
Dr Chengeta said on 17 September 2020, the UN Human Rights Committee passed general comment number 37, and made it clear that it is not acceptable for a government to pass law that restricts people from gathering at a particular time. The law is not only unconstitutional but violate state obligations to the United Nations.
In response, Mandaza said the issue is not about protesting. He said the issue is about demonstrating to frustrate the government. He said the USA has the Patriotic act that criminalizes acts that endangers the US national security.
Dr Chengeta said the new law is not equivalent with the USA Patriotic law as the US law does not ban demonstrations at a time when there are International conferences.
Dr Chengeta said this law is not the right approach to solve the problems in Zimbabwe.
Mandaza said Zimbabweans should be careful about freedom when it affects the freedom of other people. Mandaza said people who are tarnishing the images of Zimbabwe are affecting those who want investments to come to Zimbabwe.
Mandaza said it is allowed to talk about corruption and human rights but can not do so in foreign countries.
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