Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine, real name Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, has slammed the Zimbabwean Parliament for passing the draconian Criminal Law Codification and Reform Amendment Bill (Criminal Code) widely known as the Patriotic Bill which contains a clause that seeks to criminalise “wilfully damaging the sovereignty and national interest of Zimbabwe.”
Last week, Zanu-PF MPs used their two thirds majority complimented by MDC-T legislators to pass the controversial bill that has already been viewed by many as a tool for political repression.
Bobi Wine, a famous musician who joined politics and founded the National Unity Platform political party in 2020 believes that the Patriotic Bill will infringe on people’s freedoms.
He described it as a “chapter of persecution for daring to oppose their leaders.”
“This past week, Zimbabwe’s Parliament passed an amendment to their Criminal Law Code that punishes citizens for any actions that ‘willfully damage the sovereignty and national interests’ of the country, along with other actions considered ‘unpatriotic’.
“Violators of this law face up to 20 years in prison and risk having their citizenship revoked. This move resonates with calls previously made by regime officials here in Uganda to pass a similar law, which is concerning,” Wine wrote on his official Twitter handle.
“We express our solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe as they face yet another chapter of persecution for daring to oppose their leaders.
“The so-called ‘Patriots law’ severely curtails Zimbabweans’ freedom of expression and their ability to hold their leaders accountable. Witnessing attempts to suppress dissent and undermine the democratic rights of citizens is deeply troubling.
“The new amendment unfairly restricts the fundamental rights of Zimbabweans and undermines the democratic fabric of the nation.
“In solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe, we urge their Government to reverse this law and safeguard the democratic values and rights of its citizens, especially their freedoms to speak and associate freely with each other,” Bobi Wine added.