If you were having coffee with me, I would welcome you to my socially distanced corner of globe in a world that seems to be on the precipice of a Covid third wave and there’s been chatter of a third lockdown loading….
I have been into town only once in the past week and outside of the usual transport problems, it was relatively uneventful, since I didn’t get arrested like the last time… Read my last article Coffee With Bad Cops Good Cop incase you missed it… Does this mean I have criminal record now? Should I get a tattoo or something?
If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that I like to believe I am a law abiding patriot, imagining that my heart beats in rhythm to National Anthem and my blood is red, yellow, green, black, just like the waving flag….
But sometimes its hard to feel charitable, like when you are strolling down the crowded streets of Harare CBD watching people trying to eke out a living, vendors, selling their wares on the street pavements and the ensuing chaos that happens as they pack up and run away from the police lest they have their wares confiscated and they arrested for “obstruction” i.e obstructing movement of traffic, that’s the fine they pay at the Police Station… and back to work they go, dodging the police…
Amidst it all you are trying to walk calmly past the police and hope they wont think you are guilty of anything and checking your mask every second because you don’t want to be arrested again and next time if I get arrested I am definitely soliciting for a bribe, see what the system grooms me into.
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that on March 2nd Parliament debated on the Patriotic Bill which once approved will be passed into law., you can read through the minutes from the Hansard by Parliament of Zimbabwe. Ostensibly this Patriotic Bill is to counter the harmful and negative communications that attack the country’s image.
NOW THEREFORE, call upon this august House to enact a law that:
a) recognises and celebrates efforts made by Zimbabwean citizens at home and abroad to promote the country’s positive image and brand; and
b) prohibits any Zimbabwean citizen from wilfully communicating messages intended to harm the image and reputation of the country on international platforms or engaging with foreign countries with the intention of communicating messages intended to harm the country’s positive image, and or to undermine its integrity and reputation.
This has been likened to The Logan Act and The Patriot Act of America which serve in: Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism. I would have to find out from those resident in America how those have been working out. While some say only criminals and malcontents need be afraid of the Patriotic Bill, its not hard to see how it can be interpreted and used as a tool to silence freedom of speech and a campaign is on going to #StopThePatrioticBill
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that ahead of its 2021 General Elections in August Zambian Parliament is also set to pass Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Bill which again sounds a lot like it will end up shrinking liberties of freedom in online spaces.
Its like our government are in the same WhatsApp group which ought to have a MasterClass on How To Win Elections and Die in Power…. Speaking of dying in power, the president of Tanzania recently succumbed to a heart condition (though unverified sources say that it was complications due to COVID) Its crazy how after all the president did or didn’t do the world is stuck on Tanzania’s COVID stance, after declaring the country COVID free and refusing to participate in vaccination programmes.
On a positive note Tanzania makes history by having its first female president after the Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan was sworn in as president on Friday.
If you were having coffee with me I would ask you if you think Madam Vice President Kamala Harris was eyeing President Joe Biden stumble on the stairs of the Airforce like….. soon…..?
So schools are set to resume tomorrow and its going to be another interesting week, university fees went up by 250% and civil servants pay didn’t go up by as much a margin, a strike might be looming, at least it will give some of us a break from watching Peppa Pig….
Its hard to breathe if you wear a flag as a face mask. Whats been going on in your neck of the woods?