Recently, the Zimbabwean parliament enacted the Patriotic Act, which we, as the Zimbabwe Anti-Sanctions Movement, proposed to the government after illegal western sanctions were imposed on the nation. This followed non-elected Zimbabweans operating as agents of foreign governments, no different from Redi Tlhabi and Chris Maroleng (a Zimbabwean), being invited to the US Congress to offer evidence that decampaigned our government.

Before we knew it, opposition lawyers were lobbying the US Congress to impose sanctions (the blocking of approved IMF and IDA loans for infrastructure development) on Zimbabwe, to force people to vote for them in 2000. And when they narrowly lost the elections in May 2000, they began assisting the US Congress to draft the infamous ZDERA sanctions.

These sanctions were crafted to deny the Zimbabwean government, municipalities and parastatals loans and debt cancellation, based on untested allegations of human rights abuses, made by the opposition.

In 2003, after losing Presidential elections, they again asked the US President to add more sanctions known as Executive Order Sanctions, which came after George Bush declared Zimbabwe a threat to U.S. economic, foreign policy and security interests.

This led to the imposition of IEEPA (International Emergency Economic Powers Act), EO13288, EO13391, EO13469 and European Council Common Position 2002/145/CFSP sanctions on Zimbabwe, which all targeted the government, financial institutions, investors, private companies, the army, civilians, farmers and manufacturing.

These illegal sanctions were denounced in 2021 by the UN, for violating Zimbabwean civilian human rights and displacing Zimbabweans into SADC and South Africa as refugees, 22 years after the first Congress meetings with ordinary Zimbabweans, led to them calling for the collective punishment of all civilians by illegal sanctions, to force them to vote for opposition.

In 2019, frustrated by Zimbabweans going to Congress to call for illegal sanctions and their renewal upon civilians, we, as ZASM, advocated for the creation of a law called the Patriotic Act, to deter Zimbabweans from partnering with foreigners or enemies of the nation to sanction or damage Zimbabwe’s national interest for votes.

We designed this law to mirror existing US laws like the US Logan Act, USA Patriot Act, Foreign Agents Registration Act, Smith Act, and The Anti-Communist Act, which prevent Americans from working with communists, enemies of America, and foreign governments to promote foreign ideology to US office bearers. These laws also aim to prevent U.S. citizens from partnering with foreigners to sabotage American national interests, plotting to remove the government, or attacking America without the authority of the US government.

Earlier this year, the DA leader, John Steenhuisen, openly asked the U.S. government to impose sanctions on the ANC government, for untested allegations that that government put weapons on a Russian ship. This is treason.

We foresee future problems for the ANC government from these Congress meetings, as the last meeting has already opened the door for a renegotiation of AGOA, sanctions or more funding for NGOs to interfere in South African affairs, if the ANC does not lose elections next year and it doesn’t break its relationship with BRICS. And all this was informed by the testimonies of two misguided South Africans who are being used as foreign agents against South Africa.

Such Congress hearings are normally a precursor to sanctions and an escalation of hostilities with the country for which the hearings are being held.

So, our advice to the ANC government is it must make laws now to stop citizens from becoming agents for foreign governments and engaging with foreign governments that are intent on attacking South Africa and seeking justification to do so from statements of unpatriotic citizens who are not well-versed in geopolitics.

Written By Rutendo Matinyarare, Chairman of ZASM.

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