Ahead of August elections, Zimbabwe makes criticism of government illegal

Zimbabwe’s parliament has banned criticism of the government as presidential and parliamentary elections are approaching, scheduled for next August, The Guardian reports.

The main contenders for the upcoming elections are the opposition Citizens’ Alliance for Change and the ruling Zimbabwe National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF).

“Zanu-PF has turned our great nation into an authoritarian hotbed,” opposition spokesman Fadzai Mahiri said. She added that this law “will not work because Zimbabweans go to the polls for the sole purpose of making a difference in Zimbabwe … The tyranny of panic spread by Zanu-PF will not stand in the way of change whose time has come.”

A “patriotic” bill to amend the Republic’s Criminal Code includes a provision criminalizing “intentional harm to the sovereignty and national interests of Zimbabwe.” According to the provisions of the document, violation of this law is punishable by imprisonment for up to 20 years.

A general election is due in Rimbabwe on August 23, when the ruling party will nominate incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa, 80, and Nelson Chamisa, a lawyer and pastor who leads the newly formed Citizens Alliance for Change, for a second term. , will challenge it.

Source: “TASS”

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