Photo by Nicolas Liponne/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa delivers a speech at the fundraising day at the Sixth World Fund Conference in Lyon, France, on October 10, 2019

Zimbabwe Approves Law Which Will Criminalise Anti-Government Protests

Zimbabwe's recent amendment to the existing Criminal Law (Codification Reform) Act will make make both anti-government protests and international political collaborations of any kind punishable under the new law.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa continues to draw criticism with regards to his governance despite rising concerns about the country. According to The Street Journal, President Mnangagwa has recently approved the proposal of a law which will make public protests illegal. This follows international concern about Zimbabwe's continued human rights violations since the questionable arrest of demonstrators in July this year. The iron-fist ruling of the Zanu-PF led government has driven this deliberate move to stifle international relations.

READ: Former Botswana President Ian Khama Condemns Zimbabwean Government

Zimbabwe's new law will be an amendment to the Criminal Law (Codification Reform) Act. The country's Information Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, explained what the amendment will entail in a media briefing.

"The amendments will criminalise the conduct of isolated citizens or groups, who for self-gain cooperate or connive with hostile foreign governments to inflict suffering on Zimbabwean citizens and to cause damage to national interests."

Citizens will also be punished for planned anti-government protests that coincide with international events. Zimbabweans' rights of association have admittedly been violated by the recent amended law as it prevents "cooperation with foreign governments".

Mnangagwa tabled the "Patriot Bill" at the beginning of October following the release of journalist Hopewell Chin'ono and opposition leader, Jacob Ngarivhume. Their release came after mounting pressure from Zimbabweans and Africans as a collective after the July 31st anti-government demonstrations which sparked the #ZimbabweanLivesMatter movement. This new law is reportedly a lighter version of the "Patriot Bill" but its message is nonetheless the same––Zimbabwe does not value the freedom of its people.

While regional body SADC and AU have remained silent at the blatant transgression of Zimbabweans' rights, international human rights agencies and trade organisations have continued to condemn Mnangagwa. In fact, the country has been under international trade sanctions by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for a few years now but the government is seemingly only interested in protecting its own interests. Additionally, Zanu-PF acting spokesperson, Patrick Chinamasa, has accused MDC Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa, and his deputy, Tendai Biti, of going to the United States to invite sanctions on the country.


This Compilation Shines a Light On East African Underground Music

We talk to a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation from Uganda's Nyege Nyege.

Nyege Nyege, a label in Kampala, Uganda is channelling the confidence brimming over a whole continent. Africa is no longer the future. For dance music, its time is right now.

Music For the Eagles is a compilation released in conjunction with Soundcloud to showcase the best new acts that East Africa has to offer outside the mainstream. A new wave of artists firmly blasting non-conformist energy for you to spasm to. Music that takes you places. Otim Alpha's high BPM wedding frenzy of incessant rasping vocals accompanied by feverous violin will have you clawing the walls to oblivion. Anti Vairas' dancehall from a battleship with super galactic intentions doesn't even break a sweat as it ruins you. FLO's beautiful sirens call, is a skittish and detuned nursery rhyme that hints at a yearning for love but reveals something far more unnerving. Ecko Bazz's tough spiralling vocal over sub-bass and devil trap energy is an anthem that can only be bewailed. And Kidane Fighter's tune is more trance-like prayer. These are only some of the highlights for you to shake it out to.

We got to chat with a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation as they took a break from the studio below.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox


The 6 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Wavy the Creator x WurlD, Epoque, Tems, Silverstone Barz, Kofi Jamar, Olamide x Jaywillz and more