Zimbabwe has apparently signed into law
The General Laws Amendment Act (GLAA), which tightens the "presidential insult" and "communication of falsehoods" laws under the Public Order and Security Act (POSA), has been signed into law.
The GLAA amends 22 sections of POSA, as well as several other acts. It was signed into law by Acting President Joice Mujuru, according to a notice published in the "Government Gazette" on 3 February 2006.
The amendments increase the fine imposed under Section 16 of POSA from Z$20,000 (approx. US$0.20) to Z$2 million (approx. US$20). The penalty may also entail one year imprisonment, either as an alternative or supplement to the fine. Section 16 deals with the "publication of false statements that will engender feelings of hostility towards - or cause hatred, contempt or ridicule of - the President or Acting President."
Those convicted under Section 15 of POSA, which deals with "the publishing or communication of statements prejudicial to the state", will now be liable to a fine of Z$10 million (approx. US$100) - up from Z$100,000 (approx. US$1) - or five years' imprisonment, or both.
This law is indicative of Mugabe's sad slide from liberator to tyrant. This man's time is done. It is time for new leadership. I say this as someone who fully supported the land reclamation. It is sad that Mugabe's ego is so fragile, reminiscent of not a few Muslims, that he needs to sign laws to ban people from criticizing him? Now one may say that publishing false statements should be punished. NO doubt. I'm sure that Zimbabwe has laws against Libel and Slander. There is no need in a so called "democratic" society to make special laws protecting the executive.
Oh yes there's also this:
Section 15 also covers the "publishing of statements likely to promote or incite public disorder or adversely affect the security or economic interests of Zimbabwe."
Under the new amendments, "causing disaffection among the police force or defense forces" will be punishable by a fine not exceeding Z$4 million (approx. US$40), while "unauthorized public gatherings for the purposes of rioting or causing disorder" will be punishable by a fine of up to Z$10 million (approx. US$100).
CourtesyAll Africa News Service