Biti blasts Mnangagwa aide




(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 01, 2018 MDC Alliance Spokesperson Tendai Biti speaks during a press conference during which he announced that Zimbabwe's opposition parties are calling for electoral reforms ahead of the July 30 general elections and that there will be street demonstrations in the capital Harare on June 5. Senior Zimbabwean opposition figure Tendai Biti was arrested as he tried to flee to neighbouring Zambia to seek asylum, his lawyer said on August 8, 2018. Biti allegedly faces charges for inciting violence over the disputed result of last week's elections. / AFP PHOTO / Jekesai NJIKIZANA

MDC Alliance vice-president Tendai Biti has rubbished claims by the government that lawyers in the party crafted laws used by western countries to impose sanctions on the country.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba on Friday appeared to be justifying the move by the ruling Zanu-PF to introduce the Patriotic Bill by saying there is need to rein in locals that actively pushed for sanctions.

Charamba said Zimbabwean laws must not protect those that campaigned against the country, but Biti shot back saying Mnangagwa’s spokesperson did not make sense.

“Charamba is one of the people who have overstayed in government and now serves no value. He should retire and go and do farming,” Biti said.

“Which country on earth has its laws written by another country, more so, for America?

“He is disrespecting the US congressmen.

“He thinks America is a banana republic whose laws can be written by a poor country in Southern Africa.”

Critics have described the proposed Patriotic Bill as an attack on Zimbabwe’s democracy.

Charamba said those who cheer foreign interests did not deserve protection from Zimbabwe’s laws.

He charged: “You want the law, the army, the police, the president, the judges to protect you yet you are lobbying against that which makes you Zimbabwean?

“We know ZIDERA [Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act] was crafted here. A cabal of lawyers in the opposition did that.

“They drafted those pieces of those obnoxious regulations, which wreaked havoc in this country by way of social lives, political lives, economic and own integrity as a nation.

“You can’t have a foreign power going against the United Nations framework saying it is time Zimbabwe is punished because your own interests are under threat.

“You are opposing the bill because you want to cheer foreign interests. Who are you protecting? All we are saying is love your people, love your country.”

Meanwhile, former Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo told a Southern Africa Political Economy Series Trust-organised webinar on the 2023 elections that the Patriotic Bill was part of a broader strategy to influence the outcome of the polls.

“Everyone must now be a good citizen and the idea of a good citizen is what you find being prescribed in the impending and soon-to-be-gazetted Patriotic Bill,” Moyo said.

Mnangagwa is accused of abusing the law to close down the democratic space and push for a one-party state in Zimbabwe.

Source – the standard