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ZIMBABWE rights legal professionals have need the federal government to repeal the regulation which criminalises insulting or undermining the authority of the President towards electorate who categorical themselves on issues to do with or attached with him.
In a commentary, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) stated segment 33 of the Criminal Code of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act used to be oppressive.
ZLHR has over contemporary months recorded an build up in instances of people who were given arrested and prosecuted on allegations of insulting President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
They complained the Act violates the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of the media safe within the charter.
In addition, they famous that is continuously justified underneath the pretext of protective the respect of the President’s workplace.
ZLHR stated electorate have the appropriate to categorical their perspectives whether or not sure or destructive.
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They stated hiding in the back of ‘coverage’ of President’s dignity used to be now not a sound justification in a constitutional democracy.
“As Zimbabwe attracts nearer to the 2023 harmonised elections, ZLHR is focused on the craze of unrelenting use of the crime of insulting the President to muzzle electorate from expressing critiques, each on-line and offline, on affairs of state.
“Considering those issues, ZLHR urges the federal government to repeal segment 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
“Drop all pending legal fees introduced towards people underneath segment 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act; carry consciousness amongst public officers, together with police officers, prosecutors, the judiciary and others, of the requirement that public figures must tolerate the next level of grievance.
“Comply with the obligations to promote, respect, protect and fulfil the right to freedom of expression under the Constitution, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” ZLHR stated.
The crime of insulting the President has its roots within the nation’s colonial previous and a re-enactment of the repressive colonial rules just like the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and Law and Order Maintenance Act (LOMA) that have been used to suppress civil unrest because the liberation battle intensified.
Author: New Zimbabwe