Unlawful Organizations Act

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UNLAWFUL ORGANIZATIONS ACT

Acts 55/1971, 27/1975 (s. 9), 22/1992 (s. 4), 19/1998 (s.11),
22/2001; Ord. 10/1980,
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
Section
1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Declaration of organization to be unlawful.
4. Organization deemed to continue.
5. President may impose restrictions on office-bearers and officers of
unlawful organizations.
6. Information to be furnished.
7. Winding up of unlawful organization.
8. Powers of entry and search.
9. Confiscation of articles seized.
10. Offences.
11. Presumptions.
12. Extra-territorial a pplication of section 11.
13. Jurisdiction of magistrates courts.
14. Holding of proceedings in camera.
15. Indemnity.
16. Authority required for prosecutions.
AN ACT to make provision, in the interests of defence, public safety or public order, for
certain organizations to be unlawful organi zations and for the circumstances in which
organizations may be declared to be unlawfu l organizations; and to provide for matters
incidental to or conne cted with the foregoing.
[Date of commencement: 15th October, 1971.] 1 Short title
This Act may be cited as the Unlawful Organizations Act [Chapter 11:13].
2 Interpretation
In this Act—
“document” includes any book, pamphlet, r ecord, list, placard, poster, drawing,
photograph or picture or any s ound recording or other contrivance for the reproduction of
sound;
“liquidator” means a person appoi nted in terms of subsection (1) of section seven to be
the liquidator of an unlawful organization;
“Minister” means the Minister of Home A ffairs or any other Minister to whom the
President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;
“office-bearer”, in relation to any organiza tion, means a member of the governing body
of—
(a) the organization; or
(b) any branch, section or co mmittee of the organization; or
(c) any local, regional or subsidiary body forming part of the organization;
“officer”, in relation to any organization, means any person working for—
(a) the organization; or

(b) any branch, section or committee of the organization; or
(c) any local, regional or subsidiary body forming part of the organization;
“organization” means—
(a) any association of persons, whether incorporated or unincorporated, and
whether it has been established or registered under any enactment;
(b) any branch, group, section or committ ee of an association or any local,
regional or subsidiary body forming part of such an association;
“place” means any place, whether or not it is a public place, and includes any premises,
building, flat, room or office;
“public order” includes public security, th e maintenance of law and order and the
maintenance of any service essential to the life or well-being of the community;
“unlawful organization” means any organizatio n which is declared under section three to
be an unlawful organization .
3 Declaration of organi zation to be unlawful
(1) The President may, by proclamation, declare any organization to be an unlawful
organization if it appears to the President that the activities of that organization or of any
of the members of that organi zation are likely to endanger, disturb or interfere with
defence, public safety or public order in Zimbabwe.
(1a) The President may, by proclamation, d eclare any organization to be an unlawful
organization if the President is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the activities of the
organization are aimed at promoting, inciting or propagating discrimination against any
person or class of persons on the grounds of race, place of origin, nati
onal or ethnic
origin, colour, creed or gender of any person or class of persons.
(2) If the President is of the opinion that an organization—
(a) is the parent organization of an unlawful organization; or
(b) is derived from the same parent organization as an unlawful organization;
or
(c) is the successor to an unlawful organization; or
(d) is composed substantially though not necessarily predominantly of, or
directed or controlled, directly or indirectly by, persons who have been or are office-
bearers or officers of an unlawful organization;
and that it is necessary in the interests of defence, public safety or public order in
Zimbabwe, he may, by proclamation declare such first-mentioned organization to be an
unlawful organization.
(3) A proclamation made in terms of subsection (1) or (2) shall no t be open to question
in any court of law, but shall be laid before Parliament as soon as may be after it has been
published in the Gazette, and every such proclamation shall, unless confirmed by
resolution of Parliament within twenty-one days of the date upon which it is so laid
before it, lapse and cease to ha ve effect from the date of the expiry of such period of
twenty-one days.
(4) The President may repeal any proclamation made in terms of subsection (1), (1a) or
(2).
4 Organization deemed to continue
For the purposes of subsections (1) and (2) of section three, an organization shall not be
deemed to have ceased to exist by reason only of any formal act of dissolution or change

of title, but shall be deemed to continue so long as any of its members are associated
together in any of the activities menti oned in subsection (1) of section three.
5 President may impose restriction on o ffice-bearers and officers of unlawful
organizations
(1) The President may, by notice in writing addressed and delivered or tendered to the
person concerned, order any person who was an office-bearer, officer or member of an
unlawful organization—
(a) to resign, within such period as ma y be specified in the notice, as an
office-bearer, officer or member of any organization or class of organization specified in
the notice; or
(b) not to become an office-bearer, offi cer or member of, or to take any other
part whatever in the activiti es of, any organization or clas s of organization specified in
the notice during such period, not exceeding three years, as may be specified in the
notice;
if he is satisfied that the activities of su ch person in such organization or class of
organization are or would be likely to endanger, disturb or interfere with defence, public
safety or public order in Zimbabwe.
(2) Any person who contravenes the terms of any notice given under subsection (1) shall
be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level seven or to imprisonment
for a period not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
[amended by Act 22 of 2001, with effect from the 10th September, 2002] (3) The President may at any time, by noti ce in writing, withdraw or vary any notice
given under subsection (1).
6 Information to be furnished
Any police officer may call upon any person who is or has been, or is believed by him
upon reasonable grounds to be or to have been, an office-bearer or officer of an
organization which has been declared to be an unlawful organization, to furnish him with
a list of members of the organization and of all office-bearers or officers of such
organization and in complying with such requ est the person so called upon shall not be
guilty of contravening any provision of section ten.
7 Winding up of unlawful organization
(1) Where an organization is declared under s ection three to be an unlawful organization,
the President shall appoint a pe rson to be the liquidator of that unlawful organization and
all the assets and property, including right s and documents, belonging to that unlawful
organization or used by any person for or in connection with the purposes or activities of
that unlawful organization sha ll vest in that liquidator.
(2) The liquidator shall proceed forthwith to recover and obtain possession of all the
assets and property, movable or immovable, which have vested in him in terms of
subsection (1).
(3) Subject to any directions given by th e Minister, the liquidator shall take such
measures and have such powers as are necessary or expedient for the winding up of the
unlawful organization and, without derogation from the generality of the foregoing, the
liquidator shall have the power specified in subsection (1) of section 221 of the
Companies Act [Chapter 24:03] and, with the leave of the Minister, the powers specified
in paragraphs (a) to (h) of subsection (2) of that section.

(4) The liquidator shall ensure that any creditors of the unlawful organization and any
persons having a right in respect of any asse ts or property which have vested in the
liquidator in terms of subsecti on (1) are given an opportunity to prove their claims within
a reasonable time.
(5) The liquidator shall be entitled to such remuneration as may be fixed by the Minister
which shall be payable from the assets which have vested in him in terms of subsection
(1).
(6) If, after all the liabilities of the unlaw ful organization and the costs of winding up
have been satisfied, there are any surplus asse ts, the liquidator shall prepare and submit to
the President a scheme for the application of such surplus assets, which scheme may
provide for the forfeiture to the State of any weapons, arms or ammunition, articles of
uniform or clothing, documents or other property whatever.
(7) A scheme submitted to the President under subsection (6) may be amended by the
President in such manner as he may think pr oper in the circumstances of the case, and
upon the signification by the President of his ap proval of the scheme or of the scheme as
amended, the surplus assets which are the subjec t of the scheme shall be dealt with by the
liquidator in the manner set out in the scheme as so approved.
(8) When the unlawful organization has been finally wound up the President shall release
the liquidator and subsections (2) and (3) of section 225 of the Companies Act [Chapter
24:03] shall apply, mutatis mutandis.
8 Powers of entry and search
(1) If a magistrate or justice of the peace is satisfied by information on oath that there is
reason to believe that—
(a) a meeting of an unlawful organization or of persons who are members of
an unlawful organization is bei ng held upon or at any place; or
(b) a member of an unlawful organiza tion resides or is at any place; or
(c) documents or other information re lating to an unlawful organization may
be found upon or at any place or in or upon any vehicle; or
(d) there is upon or at any place any ve hicle or other article belonging to or
used in any way by or on behalf of an unlaw ful organization, whether before or after it
was declared to be an un lawful organization; or
(e) there is upon or at any place or in or upon any vehicle any property
whatever, including any funds or moneys, belonging to or used in any way by or on
behalf of an unlawful organization, whether before or after it was declared to be an
unlawful organization, including funds to be used for the purposes of the payment of
fines imposed on any member of that organization;
such magistrate or justice of the peace, as the case may be, may, by warrant under his
hand directed to all and each or one or more police officers, empower such police officers
or police officer to enter upon such place or such vehicle as is mentioned in paragraph (c)
or (e) and to search—
(i) any such person as is mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b) or any person who
is in or upon such vehicle; or
(ii) any such place or vehicle;
and to seize or cause to be se ized any such documents or ot her information, vehicle as is
mentioned in paragraph (d), article, pr operty, funds, moneys or thing whatever.

(2) If a magistrate or justice of the peace is satisfied by information on oath that there is
reason to believe that documents or ot her information relating to an unlawful
organization may be found upon an y person, such magistrate or justice of the peace, as
the case may be, may, by warrant under his hand directed to all and each or one or more
police officers, empower such police officer s or police officer to enter upon any place
upon or in which such person resi des or is and to search such person and such place and
to seize or cause to be seiz ed any such documents or othe r article, property or thing
whatever containing or affording such information.
(3) If a police officer believes on reasonabl e grounds that delay in obtaining a warrant
under this section would defeat the object of the search, he may do all such things as are
authorized by subsection (1) or (2) without a warrant.
(4) When it is desired to search the body of any woman in terms of this section, such
search, unless made by a medical practitioner, shall be made only by a woman and shall
be conducted with strict regard to decency, and if there is no woman available for such
search who is a police officer, the search may be made by any woman specially named
for the purpose by the police officer concerned.
9 Confiscation of articles seized
(1) The Commissioner of Police shall furnish to the Minister full details of any vehicle,
article, moneys or thing seized under section eight and the gro unds of such seizure and, if
a liquidator has been appoint ed, the Commissioner of Poli ce shall, unless otherwise
directed by the Minister, deliver the property to the liquidator.
(2) Where there is no liquidator—
(a) any person affected by the seizure ma y, in regard to any vehicle, article,
moneys or thing seized, make representations to the Minister who may, in his discretion
and after such inquiry as he may think fit, ma ke such order regarding the disposal of all
or any of the vehicles, articles, moneys or things as may to him seem just;
(b) if, after the lapse of three months from the date of the seizure of any
vehicle, article, moneys or thi ng, no person has satisfied the Minister that such vehicle,
article, moneys or thing does not belong to th e organization or has not been used in any
way by or on behalf of the unlawful organizatio n, whether before or after it was declared
to be an unlawful organization, the Minister sh all order that such vehicle, article, moneys
or thing be confiscated, destr oyed or disposed of in such other manner as he may specify:
Provided that in the case of any ve hicle, article, moneys or thing which,
in the opinion of the Minister, does not bel ong to the unlawful organization, the Minister
may direct that such vehicle, article, moneys or thing be returned to the owner.
10 Offences
(1) Any person who—
(a) becomes, continues to be or perfor ms any act as an office-bearer, officer
or member of an unlawful organization; or
(b) carries or displays anything whatev er or shouts or utters any slogan or
makes any statement or sign indicating that he is or was an office-bearer, officer or
member of, or in any way associated with, an unlawful organization; or
(c) writes, draws, makes, paints or uses any word, sign, symbol or slogan
indicating that he is or was an office-bear er or officer or member of an unlawful
organization or is associated with or supports such an organization; or

(d) without lawful excuse, the proof whereof lies on him, has in his possession
or under his control any card, publication, docum ent, banner or insignia relating to an
unlawful organization or which is likely to further the interests of such an organization,
whether or not such organization has ceased to exist; or
(e) contributes or solicits anything as a subscription or otherwise to be used
directly or indirectly for the benefit of an unlawful organization; or
( f ) without the permission of the Minist er, contributes or solicits anything as a
subscription or otherwise to be used directly or indirectly for the bene fit of any person
who was, at the date an orga nization was declared an unlawf ul organization, a member of
such organization; or
(g) in any way takes part in any activity of an unlawful organization or carries
on any activity in the direct or indirect inte rests of an unlawful organization in which it
was or could have engaged prior to beco ming, or on the date upon which it became, an
unlawful organization; or
(h) knowingly allows a meeting of an un lawful organization or of members of
an unlawful organization to be held on or in any place belonging to or occupied by him or
over which he has control; or
(i) when called upon by a police officer to furnish any information in terms of
section seven, refuses to furnish such information;
shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level seven or to
imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such
imprisonment.
[amended by Act 22 of 2001, with effect from the 10th September, 2002] (2) In any prosecution for a contravention of paragraph (d) of subsection (1), it shall be a
sufficient defence if the person accused proves to the satisfaction of the court that such
card, publication, document, banner or insignia came into and remained in his possession
or under his control w ithout his knowledge.
11 Presumptions
(1) Any person who attends a meeting of an unlawful organization or of persons who are
members of an unlawful organiza tion or takes any other part whatever in the activities of
such an organization shall be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, to be a member of
that organization.
(2) If—
(a) any books, accounts, writings, documen ts, cards, banners or insignia of, or
relating to, an unlawful organi zation are found in the possessi on or under the control of
any person; or
(b) any person wears the insignia of, or is marked with any mark of, an
unlawful organization;
it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is pr oved, that such person is a member of the
unlawful organization.
(3) In any prosecution for an offence in te rms of paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of
section ten, if it is proved that the accused wa s in possession of or had under his control
any card, publication, document, banner or insignia relating to an unlawful organization
which purports or is proved to have been issued after the date upon which that unlawful
organization was declared to be an unlawful organization—

(a) the accused shall be presumed to have become or continued to be a
member of that unlawful organization; and
(b) the unlawful organization shall be presumed to have continued in
existence.
12 Extra-territorial appl ication of section 10
(1) Section ten shall apply also in respec t of any act which constitutes an offence in
terms of that section and is committed outside Zimbabwe by a person who is a citizen or
resident of Zimbabwe.
(2) A person shall not be deemed to have ceased to be a resident of Zimbabwe for the
purposes of subsection (1) by reason only of his absence therefrom, if—
(a) he retains a home in Zimbabwe; or
(b) he is absent from Zimbabwe for a temporary purpose; or
(c) he is domiciled in Zimbabwe.
(3) In any proceedings for an offence referred to in subsection (1), it shall be presumed,
unless the contrary is proved, th at the person accused was at all times a citizen or resident
of Zimbabwe.
13 Jurisdiction of magistrates courts
In respect of offences under this Act, courts of regional, provincial or senior magistrates
shall have special jurisdiction to impose on summary trial the penalties provided by this
Act.
14 Holding of proceedings in camera
(1) If the Minister, by writing under his hand, has certified that he considers, in the
interests of defence, public secu rity or public order, that any proceedings in any court of
law in respect of any matter arising under this Act should be held behind closed doors,
the court may direct that such proceedings sh all be so held and that every person whose
presence is not necessary in connection with such proceedings shall not be present
thereat.
(2) If any court has given a direction in terms of subsection (1), no person shall at any
time communicate to any other person any information which is likely to reveal—
(a) the identity of any person who ga ve evidence during the course of the
proceedings or gave any information at or before the commencement of such
proceedings; or
(b) the nature or substance of any evidence or information referred to in
paragraph (a).
(3) Notwithstanding anything in any law, the record of any proceedings in respect of
which a direction has been given in term s of subsection (1) shall not be open to
inspection by any person save upon the orde r of the court which gave the direction.
(4) Any person who contravenes subsection (2) sh all be guilty of an offence and liable to
a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding
three years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
15 Indemnity
(1) No action, indictment or other legal proceedings whatever shall be brought or
instituted in any court of law in Zimbabwe against—
(a) the President;
(b) the State;
(c) a Vice President, any Mini ster or any Deputy Minister;

(d) any person employed by the State, whether in the Public Service, the
Police, the Defence Forces, the Prison Service or otherwise;
(e) any person acting under or by the di rection or with the approval of any
person or authority mentioned in paragraph (a), (b), (c) or (d);
for or on account of or in respect of any act or thing whatever, in good faith advised,
commanded, ordered, directed or done under this Act.
(2) Every person or authority described in subsection (1) by whom any such act or thing
has been in good faith advised, commanded, or dered, directed or done under this Act
shall in respect thereof be freed, acquitted, discharged, released a nd indemnified against
all persons whomsoever.
16 Authority required for prosecutions
Where any person is brought before a court on a charge of—
(a) committing an offence in terms of this Act; or
(b) attempting to commit or inciting anot her person or conspiring with another
person to commit an offence in terms of this Act; or
(c) being an accessory after the fact to the commission of an offence in terms
of this Act;
no further proceedings in respect thereof shall be taken against him without the authority
of the Attorney-General or th e Director of Public Prosecuti ons except such as the court
may think necessary by way of remand to secure the due appearance of the person
charged.