A Harare-based lawyer has said MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has repeatedly committed a criminal offence by refusing to recognize the Presidency of Emmerson Mnangagwa and must be arrested.
Quoting section 35 of the Zimbabwe Constitution, Charles Mutema writes in the State media that Chamisa and his deputy Tendai Biti, Chief Felix Nhlanhla Ndiweni and others in the MDC-Alliance (the list is long) must also be arrested for calling for sanctions against Zimbabwe.
Writes Mutema: “The State of Zimbabwe is under siege from these types of people who claim to be its citizens and want to enjoy all the rights to their persons and property, while on the other hand exercising acts of enmity against the country.
“Mr Biti travelled to the USA where he engaged some members of the US Senate to impose sanctions against Zimbabwe.
“Mr Biti participated in the crafting of the ZIDERA sanctions law against Zimbabwe. He had no authority from the State of Zimbabwe to act in the manner he did.”
He proceeds to quote provisions of the Constitution which he says can be used to build a case against those he wants arrested.
“Section 35 (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act 2013 provides that, “All Zimbabwean citizens are equally entitled to the rights, privileges and benefits of citizenship and are equally subject to the duties and obligations of citizenship.”
“Section 35 (3) (a) provides that all Zimbabwean citizens are entitled to, among others, the protection of the State wherever they may be.
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“Section 35 (4) (a) and (b) make it a duty of all Zimbabweans to be loyal to Zimbabwe, and to observe the Constitution and to respect its ideals and institutions.
“No one who owes loyalty to his/her State would be expected to propose laws or measures which are injurious to the interests of his or her State, and still wants to claim protection by the laws of that State.
“Further, every citizen of Zimbabwe who refuses to respect the institution of the President of the State acts unconstitutionally and commits an offence.
“No citizen of Zimbabwe, who advocates for sanctions or any other restrictive measures which have a negative impact against Zimbabwe, has any legal right to be protected by the laws of Zimbabwe.
“Biti, Nelson Chamisa, Chief Ndiweni, and others in the MDC-Alliance (the list is long), have all, by virtue of these provisions of the Constitution, violated the duties attached to them as citizens of Zimbabwe from the day they advocated for sanctions against Zimbabwe, or refused to respect the ideals and institutions (the President) of the State.”
Mutema says in terms of the cited sections of the Constitution, Chamisa has committed an offence of violating the Constitution.
He further says Chamisa should not be enjoying the protection of the law of a country for which Mnangagwa is the President.
“Under such circumstances, the law must be used to prevent such violations to the Constitution. These people must be arrested and prosecuted in our courts because they owe a duty to be loyal to the State and to respect its ideals and institutions. To this end, there is need to make a law that captures such acts as offences.”
The writer proposes that the State amends the Citizenship of Zimbabwe Act (Chapter 4:01) by the insertion of Section 20 which provides as follows:
“20. OFFENCES FOR VIOLATING DUTIES OF CITIZENSHIP TO THE STATE OF ZIMBABWE
(1) It shall be an offence for a citizen of Zimbabwe without due authority, to travel to a foreign country and negotiate with any foreign government or its agent an intention to effect measures which negatively affect the economic, political, socio or cultural interests of Zimbabwe.
(2) It shall be an offence for a citizen of Zimbabwe, to call on any foreign government or its agent while in the territory of Zimbabwe, to effect economic sanctions against Zimbabwe.
(3) Any citizen of Zimbabwe who refuses or fails to respect the ideals and institutions of Zimbabwe commits an offence.
For violating each of the subsections (1), (2), and
(3), a citizen shall be liable upon conviction, to a term of imprisonment for a minimum of five years without the option of a fine”.
He argues that there are a lot of citizens who are violating the Constitution as stated with impunity and getting away with it.