By Rutendo Matinyarare
OUR ancestors understood that an invasion on the nation by an external force meant the death of the nation, because the invader, just like a parasite, would suck the lifeblood of the nation: hope, labour, people, resources, food, savings, ideas, history, culture, creations, skills, wealth and economy to build their own nation instead of MaDzimbabwe.
In time this would kill our nation.
This is why in 1670, despite their internal problems in MaDzimbabwe, they sacrificed their lives to fight the Portuguese.
In 1896 they rose to fight the English and 1965, against all odds they took on the Rhodesians and defeated them to liberate the nation from subjugation.
They knew that without our lifeblood and national endowments, the nation was doomed and its people destined to be slaves building the empires of others.
Today, we are fighting to make our people realise that sanctions are a foreign invasion by the same foreign enemies that our ancestors fought, who are still endeavoring to take our lifeblood and make us slaves to build their nations, while our own nation dies.
Irrespective of the issues we might have with each other in the nation, as long as we are not sleeping with the enemy, our lifeblood remains in our hands.
This is why we don’t fight to destroy each other, even when we wrong each other, but we fight to make those who are not serving the nation realise the national interest, to unite the nation in protecting our lifeblood.
This lifeblood is our national interest and for now, because we are holding onto our lifeblood: each other, hope, our resources, land, savings, human talent, wealth, culture, institutions and territory, we are a very privileged people with so much we can use to rebuild.
We also have much to lose, hence we are fighting to make each and every Zimbabwean understand that what we have in our hands is worth protecting with our hearts and lives because we are the ancestors of the future generations.
Many nations lost this privilege ages ago because of a lack of vision. Let us be better ancestors for our future generations by protecting our lifeblood because the future depends on it.
As a civil society organisation we have pushed for a Patriotic Act to punish those who sabotage the country’s sovereignty, dignity, independence and national interests.
The law intends to create a legal instrument that the Government will use to punish treason and sabotage of the country by citizens.
In turn, it would be a deterrent against citizens sabotaging the Government by going to enemies of the state and foreign governments, to ask for illegal (unilateral) sanctions to be imposed upon innocent civilians, in an effort to weaponise them into overthrowing their Government.
What does the Constitution say?
It is very clear, Chapter 3 of our Constitution – on Citizenship and what constitutes a Zimbabwean citizen- Section 35 talks about the duties of a Zimbabwean citizen which starts with point 4(a) stating that every Zimbabwean must be loyal to Zimbabwe.
Point 4(d) of the same section, then goes further to say that every Zimbabwean must defend the country to the best of their ability.
But all this does not expose the intent of the lawmakers, until you read Section 39 on the ‘Revocation Of Citizenship by registration’, where in point (b), it outlines that citizenship by registration can be revoked when “a citizen during a war in which Zimbabwe was engaged, the person concerned unlawfully traded or communicated with an enemy or was engaged in or associated with any business that was knowingly carried on so as to assist an enemy in that war.”
It’s clear from reading of that Chapter that the drafters of our constitution intended for Zimbabweans to be loyal and patriotic to their country, and not to aid foreign enemies in a fight against their nation.
Many Zimbabweans are collaborating with enemies of the state in the illegal economic warfare that Zimbabwe is facing.
But what is particularly interesting is, when the opposition (which has a number of lawyers who were party to creating our constitution) was in power, they were reticent to call for sanctions upon a Government of National Unity they were part of, but the moment they were voted out of Government in 2013, they began to advocate vociferously for illegal sanctions.
This is a conscious and intentional contravention of Chapter 3, Section 35, 4(a), 4(b) and section 39, 1(b) to sabotage progress in the country.
As a result, the nation needs laws to enjoin Zimbabweans to uphold their citizen duties by prohibiting them from decampaigning the country and collaborating with enemies of the state to create division, to cause civil unrest and Arab Spring style protests against Government in an effort to facilitate NATO intervention and regime change.
Is the law good?
It would seem from the public announcements on the new law, that the Government has taken full cognisance of all the issues relevant to consider in maintaining national sovereignty, the legitimacy of the Government, the integrity of the nation, the dignity of its people and reminding citizens of their duties.