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General Laws Amendment Bill now law
The Herald (Zimbabwe)
February 06, 2006

THE General Laws Amendment Bill, which makes relatively minor amendments to several Acts of Parliament, is now law.

In a notice published in last Friday’s Government Gazette, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda announced that Acting President Joice Mujuru had assented to the legislation.

Some of the Acts that would be amended under the new law include the Maintenance Act, Judicial College Act, Judges Salaries, Allowances and Pensions Act and the Money-Lending and Rates of Interest Act. The law would also amend 22 sections of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

It will amend POSA to give effect to the provisions of the Criminal Penalties Amendment Act in order to review financial penalties to the standard scale of fines.

Under the law, publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial to the State would attract a fine of $10 million while undermining authority of, or insulting the President would be punishable by a $2 million fine.

Harbouring, concealing or failing to report saboteurs or terrorists and assaulting or resisting lawful arrest by a police officer would both attract a fine of up to $15 million.

Unauthorised public gatherings for the purposes of rioting or causing disorder would be punishable by a fine of up to $10 million while possession of dangerous weapons would attract a $15 million fine.

Causing disaffection among the police force or defence forces would be punishable by a fine not exceeding $4 million.

The law would amend Sections 78 and 79 of the Defence Act and repeal Section 88A to the effect that when a member of the defence forces is sentenced by a military court, appeals should be made directly to the Supreme Court instead of the High Court as was the present case.

Clause 11 of the law would amend section 6 of the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act by clarifying the exact time when regulations made in terms of the section expire, that is at the end of 180 days from the date of commencement.

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