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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Constitutional Court confirms 31st July election date - Bill Watch 28/2013
    July 04, 2013

    Constitutional Court Confirms 31st July Election Date

    Late this afternoon the Constitutional Court, in a unanimous decision:

    • dismissed the challenges to the President’s election date proclamation and his Presidential Powers (Amendment of Electoral Act) Regulations and the arguments for an extension of the 31st July election date raised in the applications brought by the Prime Minister, Professor Ncube and others
    • dismissed Minister Chinamasa’s application for a two-week extension of the election date
    • declared for the avoidance of doubt that the coming elections must be held on 31st July in compliance with the court’s order of 31st May and in accordance with the President’s proclamation.

    The court’s reasons for judgment are expected to be handed down next week.

    Electoral Act as amended by SI 85/2013

    A consolidated version of the Electoral Act incorporating the amendments made to the Act by the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Regulations, 2013, gazetted in Statutory Instrument 85/2013 is now available from or

    The Zimbabwe Election Commission has used the amended Electoral Act for its election preparations and training of polling officers, voter educators, etc.

    In this afternoon’s decision the Constitutional Court rejected arguments against the validity of the statutory instrument raised by the Prime Minister.

    Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act

    [Soft copies not yet available]

    Last week’s two-day Parliamentary fast-tracking of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Bill on 19th and 20th June [see Bill Watch 26/2013 of 25th June] was followed by an exceptionally prompt gazetting of the resulting Act in a Government Gazette Extraordinary dated 21st June. To achieve this unprecedented feat the Act must have been signed by the President at some time between 3.35 pm on 20th June, when the Senate approved its Third Reading, and the release of the Gazette on 21st June.

    Already in force - The Act came into force immediately on 21st June, although even subscribers to the Government Gazette are unlikely to have been aware of its gazetting until it reached them together with their copies of the next regular Gazette dated 28th June. Moreover, as the Bill for the Act was only gazetted on 19th June, the very day the Minister of Finance rushed it through the House of Assembly, bankers, building societies and asset managers – to name only some of the institutions affected by the Act – must have been seriously inconvenienced by the sudden emergence, without reasonable warning, of this major new legislation.

    Defects in the Act as gazetted - Regrettably, but perhaps inevitably with such a rushed job, the gazetted Act shows signs of hasty preparation and/or inadequate proof-reading. It will need repairs either by the Law Reviser or the next Parliament. For example, the word “Bill” still appears in the heading on its first page; sections 12(5), 13 [definition of “suspicious transaction report”], 58 and 102 all have blank spaces waiting to be filled in; and there is an Incorrect cross-reference in section 98.

    Recent Government Gazettes

    • Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act

    This was gazetted in a Gazette Extraordinary dated 21st June [see above].

    Statutory Instruments

    Election proclamation – error corrected SI 96/2013, gazetted in another Gazette Extraordinary, this one dated 26th June, corrects, from “Thursday” to “Friday”, the mistaken references in SI 86/2013 to a non-existent “Thursday 28th June, 2013” as nomination day for the harmonised elections.

    [Comment: [1] A correction notice of this sort is only appropriate to correct a typographical mistake [changing “Friday” to “Thursday”?] mistake made by the Government Printer – but would not have been in order if the erroneous “Thursday” appeared in the proclamation actually signed by the President. [2] As the legal effect of the mistake had already been raised in the Prime Minister’s application to the Constitutional Court, the proper course would have been to leave the court to decide that question on its merits.]

    Civil penalties for late submission of tax returns SI 97/2013, the only SI gazetted in the regular Government Gazette of 28th June, provides for the levying of civil penalties of $30 per day [up to a maximum of 180 days] for failure to submit tax returns for income tax, VAT and capital gains tax. The penalties can be waived by the Commissioner-General of Taxes where he or she is satisfied that the default was not wilful or not due to want of reasonable care.

    General Notices

    Public holidays 2014 GN 348/2013 lists next year’s public holidays for public information.

    Police promotions GN 347/2013 contains five pages of promotions of police officers by the President. The promotions take effect from 10th July 2012. This list covers promotions to the ranks of Chief Superintendent (Legal Officer), Chief Superintendent, Superintendent, Chief Inspector and Inspector.

    Recent Website Postings

    Recent postings on the website include the following documents:

    • The new Constitution of Zimbabwe [Act 1/2013]
    • SI 85/2013 [regulations amending the Electoral Act]
    • SI 86/2013 and SI 96/2013 [Election proclamation and correction]
    • SI 88/2013 [Electoral Electoral (Nomination of Candidates) Regulations
    • SI 89/3012 [Electoral (Accreditation of Observers) Regulations
    • Constitutional Court order in Mawere v Registrar-General & Others [the dual citizenship case].

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