If plans by the current regime to criminalise campaigning against the country and government come to pass, I have no doubt that many will have criminal records.
Last week, acting Information Minister, Sithembiso Nyoni announced that cabinet had approved recommendations by the cabinet committee on National Peace and Reconciliation. This included banning of hate speech, placing political parties under a uniform code of conduct and criminalizing campaigns against the country.
These will, however, go through the normal process of parly debates and voting before being passed into law. And since they are the majority, the outcome is easily predictable.
The unfortunate thing about all this is that those in power seem to think the majority of Zimbos hate their country and is why they are always de-campaigning it in one way or the other through various mediums.
I have no doubt that all of us love our nation and are desperate for our situation to improve.
We all wish things could be better: we wish we did not have to struggle to access cash, we wish our public hospitals could at least have basic drugs, we wish savings don’t turn to dust, we wish to afford basic commodities, we wish to have corrupt-free leaders; is that asking for too much? I don’t think so.
It is these issues that when most talk about, when they openly yearn for them, those in power think they are promoting hate speech or talking bad about the country.
In other words, Zimbos should suffer in silence and should not speak out against a regime that has caused and continues to cause untold suffering for its citizens.
Those in power and those in close proximity to the who-is-who of Zimbabwe are busy lining their pockets yet when the media and the civil society speak out, they are labeled enemies of the state.
So basically, as a nation we should see no evil and speak no evil about our leaders, even as they loot and corruptly award each other lucrative tenders, as that would be construed as hating our country.
And as if to pass a strong message and instill fear, journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and political leader Jacob Ngarivhume are now in maximum prison though they haven’t been found guilty of any charges levelled against them; the main being inciting people to revolt against the regime.
The two are being treated like hardcore criminals, always in leg cuffs as if they pose any danger to anyone yet all they are advocating for is a better Zimbabwe for all of us.