Human Lives Human Rights:
The Criminal Law Codification and Reform Amendment Bill, sometimes known as the “Patriotic Bill,” has been signed into law by Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The Criminal Law Codification and Reform Amendment Act, 2022, contains extremely wide provisions since it makes it illegal to attend meetings where military interventions or sanctions are discussed or to prepare to overturn, overthrow, or otherwise interfere with a legally elected government.
On December 23, 2022, a Bill containing the Act was first published in the Government Gazette. The Bill was approved by the National Assembly’s lower chamber on May 31, 2023, and it breezed past the Senate on May 7. On July 14, 2023, the President signed it.
The signing of this bill is seen by rights organizations as a serious violation of the freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, and association.
The prerequisites of legality, proportionality, and necessity are not met by the Act. The Act’s punishments include the death penalty, loss of citizenship, and the inability to vote.
In order to demonstrate the Government’s commitment to human rights, civil society organizations urge President Mnangagwa to reverse his decision and make a law repeal as quickly as possible. His government must ensure the full, effective enforcement of freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association rights for all people.