Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
VICE President Kembo Mohadi is expected to present recommendations in Parliament for a law that criminalises campaigning against Zimbabwe as well as a Code of Conduct to regulate the operations and conduct of all political parties.
The development comes at a time when the country has come under renewed attacks from some rogue Zimbabweans working in league with foreign detractors to destabilise the nation.
Some of the elements in opposition parties have previously called for sanctions against Zimbabwe.
In a post-Cabinet press briefing yesterday, Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Sithembiso Nyoni said VP Mohadi presented recommendations to Cabinet from the 2018 and 2019 annual reports of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC).
Cde Mohadi, who also chairs the Cabinet Committee on National Peace and Reconciliation, is expected to present the recommendations to Parliament in due course as required by the Constitution. “Highlights of the recommendations include the following: That legislation and a Code of Conduct will be put in place to regulate the operations and conduct of all political parties, that campaigning against one’s country shall be legislated at law and criminalised,” said the Minister.
“That existing laws shall be strengthened to include elements that foster tolerance, equality and social cohesion among Zimbabweans as well as prohibit hate speech by public officials, media houses and citizens in public spaces and social, print and electronic media platforms.
“The public should be educated on the Security Services’ complaints handling and feedback mechanisms.”
She said Cabinet also recommended that the development of the Witness Protection Bill be expedited and that historians will be resourced to document inclusive story lines that reframe and capture agreeable narratives about Zimbabwe’s history.
The Minister said VP Mohadi, who is also the chairman of the Ad Hoc Inter-Ministerial Task Force on the Covid-19, told Cabinet that cumulative rapid screening and PCR tests conducted as of Monday were 137 808.
She said the Ministry of Health and Child Care has directed all public and private health institutions to establish Patient-Under-Investigation (PUI) zones to ensure that no patients are turned away.
Cabinet also came up with measures to be enforced in other places where people converge in large numbers.
“As a precautionary measure to curb the transmission of Covid-19, at food markets, which are characterised by crowding, poor sanitisation and lack of reticulated water, Cabinet resolved that the restructuring of the vegetable markets bays in line with Covid-19 protocols be done in all vegetable markets, that markets operate a six-day-cycle with mandatory closure for disinfection on the seventh day, that all vendors at stalls should exercise extreme precaution like the use of sanitisers and consistent hand-washing with soap and running water and that a targeted Information Education Campaign be conducted to promote a new-normal among traders and customers at these markets,” said Minister Nyoni.
In terms of preparedness, the nation was informed that Wilkins and United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) are now admitting mild to moderate cases.
“The recruitment of nursing staff is already underway. In the same vein, His Excellency the President has appealed to the striking nursing personnel to return to work such that the loss of lives can be minimised,” she said.