Update on Government Gazettes from Friday 3rd November to Friday 15th December

This bulletin covers:

·        All Bills and Acts gazetted since 3rd November up to 15th December.

·        All statutory instruments gazetted during this period, in order by date of the Government Gazette in which they were published, including:

o   Presidential Powers regulations to implement the Amnesty in respect of Illegally Expatriated Money and Other Property [see entry for 5th December, below].

·        A selection of noteworthy General Notices [GNs], including:

o   the General Notice announcing the resignation of President Mugabe on 21st November [see entry for 22nd November, below]

Bills and Acts

Civil Aviation Authority Amendment Bill [link]  This Bill was gazetted on 17th November by GN 651/20107, but has not yet been introduced into Parliament.

Public Health Bill [link This Bill was gazetted on 1st December by GN 659/2017, but has not yet been introduced into Parliament

ZEPRE (Membership of Zimbabwe and Branch Office Agreement) Act [link This Act was gazetted by GN 666/2017 on 8th December as Act 4/2017.   Date of commencement is 8th December.

Note: The only Bill already passed by Parliament and awaiting assent by the President is the National Peace and Reconciliation Bill.  Parliament sent the Bill to the President’s Office on 13th December.  If the President assents to it promptly it could be gazetted as an Act before the end of the year.

3rd November

NSSA Pensions – time-limit for claiming benefits scrapped

SI 133/2017 scraps the 5-year time-limit within which claims for benefits under the pension scheme must be made.  The provision for this time-limit had previously suspended, but not repealed.

General Notices [GNs]

Note:  This Gazette contained no GNs of general interest.

3rd November

VAT export tax on unbeneficiated hides

SI 133A/2017 corrects an omission from SI 132/2017 of 27th October, which amended an early SI to allow a new three-month window [1st October to 31st December 2017] for relief from export tax for a set list of registered merchants [see Bill Watch 40 of 28th October [link]].  SI 133A corrects the omission of Bulawayo Abattoir from the list of registered merchants.

General Notices [GNs]

Note:  This Gazette contained no GNs of general interest.

10th November

Collective bargaining agreement – Engineering & Iron Steel Industry

SI 134/2017  contains the 80-page new general conditions of service the General Engineering and Iron and Steel Section (Skilled Worker and Graded Job Categories of Employees).  It replaces SIs 100/1997, 17/2016 and 52/2017.

Magistrates Courts

New Regional Court venues   SI 135/2017 specifies Plumtree and Chipinge as places for holding Regional Courts.

New Resident Court – Mutasa  SI 136/2017 provides for Mutasa to have a resident magistrate/s court for Manicaland Province.

Harare International Airport renamed

SI 137/2017  is the legal instrument renaming the airport as Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.

General Notices [GNs]

Note:  This Gazette contained no GNs of general interest.

13th November [Gazette Extraordinary]

Defence Forces Cantonment Areas declared and renamed

SI 138/2017  establishes new cantonment areas.

SI 139/2017  renames a long list of long-established cantonment areas that have, strangely, remained with their pre-Independence names until now.  For example, King George VI Barracks Cantonment Area is now Josiah Magama Tongogara Barracks Cantonment Area.

Both statutory instruments have been sloppily prepared and are well below standards of clarity required for official legal documents.

A “cantonment” is a place or area declared by the Minister responsible for Defence to be a cantonment for the purposes of the Defence Act, section 89.  Sections 90 to 93 of the Act provide for: restriction of entry into cantonments by the general public [authority from the commanding officer will usually be required for the public and non-military personnel]; and for the designation of Defence Force members as “cantonment police” to enforce law and order in cantonments with the same powers as the ZRP to arrest members of the public for offences such as entering a cantonment without authority or loitering in or within 10 metres of the border of a cantonment.

General Notices [GNs]

Note:  This Gazette contained no GNs of general interest.

17th November

Insurance regulations amendment

SI 140/2017  is a piece of nonsense that should not have made it into the Government Gazette at all – because It fails the test of clarity and certainty necessary for a valid law.  It purports to amend section 7(c) of the Insurance Regulations, SI 49/1989, but that provision is nowhere to be found in that SI as amended.  If the provision targeted is really section 7(c) of SI 24/2016 of February 2016, which seems likely, this new SI misses the target completely.  In fact, to achieve acceptable clarity both SIs 140/2017 and 24/2016 need to be repealed and replaced by something more intelligible; this should be done urgently because the amendment must have been intended to reduce the maximum administrative penalty for breaches of statutory requirements from level 5 to level 3.

Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (General Conditions of Service) Regulations

SI 141/2017  enacts the conditions of service for staff of the Anti-Corruption Commission’s.  [The conditions of service of Commissioners are covered by the Constitution and the Commission’s own Act.]

Collective Bargaining Agreement: Insurance Industry

SI 142/2017  contains the Insurance Industry’s collective bargaining agreement on wages and increases for the year 2017.

General Notices [GNs]

GN 651/2017 gazetted the Civil Aviation Amendment Bill [see note at beginning of bulletin].

22nd November [Gazette Extraordinary]

This entire Gazette was devoted to GN 652/2017 in which the Speaker of the National Assembly gave notice of his receipt on 21st November of President Mugabe’s letter of resignation as President with immediate effect.  This was the only gazetted information of the momentous events of 13th November onwards.

24th November

New Public Holiday – 21st February each year to be Robert Gabriel Mugabe National Youth day

SI 143/2017 declares this new annual public holiday in terms of section 2(2) of the Public Holidays and Prohibition of Business Act, which provides for such declarations to made by the President “by notice in the Gazette”.   The Government’s decision to declare the public holiday had been announced by the Minister of Home Affairs in August, but this notice was necessary to give effect to that decision.

The Government Gazette was published early on 24th November, several hours before President Mnangagwa assumed office as President and three days after President Mugabe’s resignation became effective on its receipt by the Speaker late on 21st November.  The declaration must, therefore, have been finally approved by President Mugabe – and delivered to the Government Printer for gazetting – before his resignation.

General Notices [GNs]

Note:  This Gazette contained no GNs of general interest.

28th November [Gazette Extraordinary]

General Notice

Appointment of Prosecutor-General

GN 654A/2017 repealed GN 642/2017 of 27th October concerning the withdrawal of the appointment of Advocate Ray Goba as Prosecutor-General.  This gave effect to the very recent High Court decision invalidating the withdrawal – in the case of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights v. Mugabe NO and Others.  Advocate Goba’s original appointment by President Mugabe with immediate effect – as notified by GN 493/2017 of 13th September – therefore, holds good.

Note:  Advocate Goba was sworn in as Prosecutor-General by President Mnangagwa on Friday 4th December.

1st December

Customs duty suspension for mining infrastructure development

SI 144/2017 provides for the latest of many three-year suspensions of duty for capital development of a specific mining location.

General Notices [GNs]

Publication of Public Health Bill  GN 659/2017.

5th December [Gazette Extraordinary]

Presidential Powers Regulations for Amnesty in respect of Illegally Expatriated Property

SI 145/2017 [link] – the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) (Amendment of Exchange Control Act) Regulations, 2017 – contains the detailed provision for this amnesty.  All regulations under the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act have a maximum life-span of 180 days from gazetting – and if they are to have lasting effect must be re-enacted by Act of Parliament.  The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning in his Budget Speech on 7th December announced that the Government’s intention is that the Finance (2018) Bill will contain provision to give the regulations permanent form by Act of Parliament.  As pointed out in Bill Watch 47/2017 [link], the Departmental Draft of the Finance (2018) Bill [link] contains a clause designed to do precisely that.  The Budget debate is expected to continue when Parliament resumes in late January, so this Bill is unlikely to become law until some time in February 2018.

Note:  Until the Finance (2018) Bill becomes law, therefore, the legal basis of the Amnesty consists of an SI 145 and the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act, its enabling Act.  As Veritas has pointed out many times since 2013, that Act is a decidedly shaky basis for regulations, given the Constitution’s limitations on the delegation of Parliament’s legislative powers to other authorities [see, for example, Constitution Watch 1/2014 of 25th January 2014 [linkfor the view that the Act is now void for inconsistency with the Constitution and that any regulations made under the Act are equally void].  The Government, however, has all along insisted that the Act is constitutional and valid, and the question has not been yet been brought before the Constitutional Court.

8th December

Customs duty suspension for mining infrastructure development

SI 146/2017 is the second such suspension this month.  See entry for Government Gazette of 1st December, above.

Customs duty rebate for Printing and Packaging Industry

SI 147/2017 amends the existing principal SI by adding further items to the list of imports to which the rebate applies.

Ex officio Commissioners of Oaths

SI 148/2017 [link adds 36 items to the existing list of persons who are ex officio commissioners of oaths.  The offices/posts concerned are in the Civil Service, in the Army and Air Force, in State Universities [deans of Student Affairs] and in the Civil Service Commission inspectorate.

General Notices

Health Professions Act – new Register of Occupational Medicine  GN 662/2017 notifies the establishment of this new Register with effect from December.

Publication of ZEPRE (Membership of Zimbabwe and Branch Office Agreement) Act  GN 666/2017.

15th December

Collective bargaining agreement – Agricultural Industry [Tea and Coffee Sub-Sector]

SI 149/2017 specifies the agreed wages effective 1st May 2017.

General Notices [GNs]

Note:  This Gazette contained no GNs of general interest.


Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.

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