By Staff Reporter
UGANDAN opposition leader Bobi Wine has castigated the Zimbabwean Parliament for passing the Patriotic Bill in what he described as ‘another chapter of persecution’ of dissenting voices.
The Criminal Law Code Amendment Bill, also known as the Patriotic Bill sailed through the National Assembly last week and is now expected to go before senate then presidential assent.
Echoing local critics’ sentiments, Bobi Wine born Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu slammed the law saying it undermines the democratic fabric of the nation.
“This move resonates with calls previously made by regime officials here in Uganda to pass a similar law, which is concerning.
“We express our solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe as they face yet another chapter of persecution for daring to oppose their leaders.
“The so-called “Patriots law” severely curtails Zimbabweans’ freedom of expression and their ability to hold their leaders accountable.
“Witnessing attempts to suppress dissent and undermine the democratic rights of citizens is deeply troubling.
He said the new amendment unfairly restricts the fundamental rights of Zimbabweans.
“In solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe, we urge their Government to reverse this law and safeguard the democratic values and rights of its citizens, especially their freedoms to speak and associate freely with each other.”
Last week, Zimbabwe’s Parliament passed an amendment to the Criminal Law Code that punishes citizens for any actions that “willfully damage the sovereignty and national interests” of the country, along with other actions considered “unpatriotic.”
Violation of this law is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and possible revocation of one’s citizenship.