Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Nick Mangwana has defended the Patriotic Act as a “deterrent”.
Writing in the state-owned media, Sunday Mail, Mangwana said no one who loves their country would want suffering to befall people through illegal sanctions or foreign interventions, all for the cause of seeking a change of government, which can be achieved through democratic and patriotic means.
Mangwana said the United State of America keeps Logan Act alive in order to avoid its citizens from tarnishing country’s image and Zimbabwean government copy its Patriotic Act from USA’s Logan Act.
“Drawing lessons from how the Logan Act has existed, Zimbabwe may never use this legislation (the so-called Patriotic Act) or may use it, yet it remains the country’s deterrent against those who think it is an acceptable behaviour to invite suffering or death upon the Zimbabwean people,” Mangwana said
“We live in a world where increasingly — due to ease of communications, transportation and social interactions — private citizens are taking matters into their own hands, travelling to other countries as self-appointed ambassadors, meeting foreign officials and undermining national foreign policies and interests.
“Such conduct by self-serving citizens inevitably harms the national interests of governments of sovereign countries by undermining their foreign policy agenda.
“Those individuals or groups who engage in unsanctioned self-serving citizen or private diplomacy and negotiations with foreign sovereign governments not only offend the Constitution but also violate customary international law, which forms part and parcel of our law by virtue of Section 326(1) of the Constitution.”