In a recent tweet that has sparked controversy and debate, Joseph Kalimbwe, a member of Zambia’s United Party for National Development (UPND) and prominent activist, has called on Zimbabwe to employ its controversial Patriotic Bill to arrest George Charamba, the spokesperson for President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Kalimbwe accuses Charamba of tarnishing Zimbabwe’s image by blaming opponents for the dirty state of the capital city, Harare.

Zimbabwe has long faced criticism for its draconian laws, and the Patriotic Bill is no exception. The legislation has been widely perceived as a tool to target opposition members and journalists who report on corruption within Zimbabwe. Many believe that the bill suppresses freedom of speech and the press, stifling dissent and impeding efforts to address the country’s challenges transparently.

Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital city, is currently governed by the opposition Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC), led by Nelson Chamisa, with Mayor Jacob Mafume at the helm. However, President Mnangagwa has been recorded stating that ZANU-PF, his party, will never allow local councils under opposition control to function effectively. This assertion has raised concerns about ZANU-PF’s alleged interference, causing confusion and sabotage within the councils.

The timing of Kalimbwe’s call for Charamba’s arrest comes amidst the upcoming elections in Zimbabwe, scheduled for August this year. The country has been grappling with the fallout from revelations of President Mnangagwa’s alleged involvement in the “Gold Mafia” documentary, where he is portrayed as the ringleader of a corrupt gold trade. These allegations, coupled with the worsening economic situation, have intensified public discontent and heightened anticipation for the upcoming elections.

In his tweet, Kalimbwe accuses George Charamba of speaking ill of his own country in a demeaning manner. Charamba has allegedly posted photos of the dirty state of Harare, blaming opposition groups for the city’s condition. Kalimbwe argues that such behavior is unpatriotic and calls for the application of Zimbabwe’s Patriotic Bill to address what he perceives as a violation of national interests.

The call to unleash the Patriotic Bill on George Charamba has generated mixed reactions. Supporters of the bill argue that it is necessary to maintain national unity and protect Zimbabwe’s image, while critics see it as a tool for suppressing dissent and stifling free speech. The debate surrounding the bill’s enforcement continues to be a contentious issue within the country and has gained international attention.

As Zimbabwe approaches its upcoming elections, the nation faces the challenge of navigating through political tensions, economic difficulties, and allegations of corruption. The controversy surrounding George Charamba’s statements and the utilization of the Patriotic Bill only adds fuel to the already heated political environment, as citizens and observers anxiously await the outcome of the upcoming elections and hope for a more transparent and prosperous future for Zimbabwe.

It remains to be seen whether Joseph Kalimbwe’s call to unleash the Patriotic Bill on George Charamba will gain traction and lead to any legal action. However, the incident serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing struggle for freedom of expression and the delicate balance between patriotism and the protection of civil liberties in Zimbabwe.

File Photo – George Charamba

By Power

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