Zimbabwe bans unlawful protests, embassy gatherings

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ZTN Correspondent

Authorities in Zimbabwe on Tuesday moved closer to criminalising “unauthorised communication or negotiation by private citizens with foreign governments”.

This follows approval of amendments to the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa told journalists in the capital, Harare: “Cabinet noted that the current law does not criminalise the unauthorised communication or negotiation by private citizens with foreign governments.

Such communication or negotiation has a direct or indirect implication on Zimbabwe’s foreign relations and policy.”

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

Unauthorised protests will now attract severe punishments.

“Other actions that will become punishable include planned and timed protests deliberately designed to coincide with major international, continental or regional events or visits.”