The Zimbabwean cabinet, led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, has approved tough new laws that will criminalise protests.
The proposed amendments to the Criminal Law (Codification Reform) Act will also make it a criminal offence for Zimbabweans to “cooperate with foreign governments” or allege abductions.
“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,” Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said.
“Other actions that will become punishable include planned and timed protests deliberately designed to coincide with major international, continental or regional events or visits. There are also unsubstantiated claims of abductions that are concocted to tarnish the image of government and the amendments will criminalise such conduct,” she added.