Zimbabwe’s senate has passed the Patriotic Bill, which opens the way for the harshest of crackdowns on freedom of expression and free association in SA’s brutalised neighbour. All that remains now is for President Emmerson Mnangagwa to sign the bill into law.

There is little doubt he will do just that. A general election is coming up on August 23; the economy is in meltdown; surveys earlier this year showed the opposition would win if there were a free and fair election. Mnangagwa and his party are clearly determined to prevent that. ..

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