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Maintenance of Peace and Order Act

481
MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND ORDER ACT [CHAPTER 11:23] ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
PA RT I
Preliminary
Section
1. Short title.
2. Interpretat
ion.
3. Regulating authorities.
4. Temporary

prohibition of possession of certain weapons within particular police
districts.
PART II
G
atherings
5. Appointment of conveners and authorised officers in the case of processions and
public demonstrations.
6.

Appointment
of responsible officers in the case of public meetings.
7. Notice of processions, public demonstrations and public meetings.
8. Consultations, negotiatio

ns, amendment of notices, and conditions with respect
to gatherings to avoid public disorder.
9. Exemption of certain gatherings from sections 5, 6, 7 and 8.
10. Gatherings in vicinity of Parliament, courts and protected places.
1

1.
Appeals.
12. Civil liability in certain circumstances of convener of a gathering.
13. Powers of Police. PAR

T III
enforcement and Preservation of Public o rder and security
14. Persons to carry identity documents.
15. Cordon and search.
16. Powers of stopping and searching.
17.

Powers
of police officers in relation to aircraft, aerodromes and airstrips.
P

ART IV
G
eneral
18. When Defence Forces may assist Police Service under this Act.
19. Powers of seizure and forfeiture in relation to vehicles, aircraft and v
essels.
20. Powers of search, seizure and forfeiture generally.
21. Special jurisdiction of magistrates.
22. Amendment of Schedule.
23. Saving of other laws as to riotous gatherings, etc.
S CHE

DULE: Classes of gatherings to which sections 5, 6, 7 and 8 do not apply.
Cap. 11:23 MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND ORDER NO. 9/2019
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483
Printed by the Government Printer, Harare
ACT
AN ACT to make provision for the maintenance of peace, order and security in Zimbabwe; to repeal the Public Order and Security Act [ Chapter
11:17]; and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the
foregoing.

WHEREAS section 86 of the Constitution provides in p
art as follows—
86 Limitation of rights and freedoms
(1)

The fundamental rights and freedoms set out in this Chapter must be exer
cised
reasonably and with due regard for the rights and freedoms of other pers
ons (2) The
fundamental rights and freedoms set out in this Chapter may be limited only in terms
of a law of general application and to the extent that the limitation is fair, reasonable,
necessary

and

justifiable

in

a

democratic

society

based

on

openness,

justice,

human

dignity

, equality and freedom, taking into account all relevant factors, includ
ing—
(a)

the nature of the r
ight or freedom concerned;
(b)

the
purpose of the limitation, in particular whether it is necessary in the
interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public
health, regional or town planning or the general public interest;
(c)

the nature and ex
tent of the limitation;
(

d)
the need to ensure that the enjoyment of rights and freedoms by any pers
on

does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others;
(

e)
t
he relationship between the limitation and its purpose, in particular
whether it imposes greater restrictions on the right or freedom concerned
than are necessary to achieve its purpose; and
(f)

whether
there are any less restrictive means of achieving the purpose of
the limitation.
ZIMBABWE
Cap. 11:23 MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND ORDER NO. 9/2019

484
AND WHEREAS it is desirable to make provision for the maintenance of peace,
order and security to ensure the enjoyment of rights and freedoms by any person, and
in particular to make provision for the peaceful conduct of gatherings in a manner that
protects the rights of freedom of assembly, association, demonstration and petitioning
without prejudicing the rights and freedoms of others:
NOW
, THEREFORE, be it enacted by the Parliament and the President of
Zimbabwe as follows—
PA RT I
Preliminary
1 Short title
This

Act may be cited as the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act [Chapter 11:23].

2
Interpretation
In

this Act—
“authorised

officer”

means

a

police

officer

appointed

in

terms

of

section

5(4)

or (5);

“convener” means—
(a)

any person who,
of his or her own accord, convenes a gathering;
and
(

b)
in relation to any or
ganisation, any person appointed by such
organisation in terms of section 5(1);
“convening
notice” means a notice of a gathering referred to in section 7;
“election

period” has

the me
aning
given

to

tha
t
te
rm
by

the El
ectoral
Act
[

Chapter 2:13];
“gathering”
means—
(a)

a procession or public demonstration; or
(b)

a public me
eting;
“meeting”

means

a

meeting

held

for

the

purpose

of

the

discussion

of

matters

of public intere

st or for the purpose of the expression of views on such
matters;
“Minister”

means

the

Minister

of

Home

Af
fairs
and

Cultural

Heritage

or

any

other

Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the
administration of this Act;
“organisation”

means

any

association,

group

or

body

of

persons,

whether

or

not

such association, group or body has been incorporated, established or
registered in accordance with any law, and includes any branch thereof;
“peace

officer”

has

the

meaning

given

to

that

term

in

section

2

of

the

Criminal

Procedure and Evidence

Act [Chapter 9:07];
“police

district”

means

an

area

designated

by

the

Commissioner

General

of

Police

as a police district for the purposes of the administration of the
Police Service;
“procession”
means a procession in a public place;
“prohibition
n

otice”
m
eans
a n
otice
p
rohibiting
a p
rocession
o
r
p
ublic

demonstration referred to in section 8(9);

“private place” means any place that is not a public place;

no. 9/2019 MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND ORDER c ap. 11:23

485
“public gathering” means a public meeting or a public demonstration;
“public
demonstration”

means

a

procession,

gathering

or

assembly

in

a

public

place

of persons and additionally, or alternatively, of vehicles, where the
gathering is in pursuit of a common purpose of demonstrating support
for, or opposition to, any person, matter or thing, whether or not the
gathering

is

spontaneous

or

is

confined

to

persons

who

are

members

of

a

particular

organisation, association or other body or to persons who have
been invited to attend;
“public
meeting” means
any

meeting
of
more

than

fifteen
persons
in

a

public

place or meeting which the public or any section of the public is permit
ted

to attend, whether on payment or otherwise, but does not include a meeting
of any organ or structure of a political party or other organisation held
in—
(a)

any private place, whether or not it is wholly or partly in the open;

or
(b)

any public p
lace that is not wholly in the open;

“public

place”

means

any

thoroughfare,

building,

open

space

or

other

place

of any descripti

on to which the public or any section of the public have
access, whether on payment or otherwise and whether or not the right of
admission thereto is reserved;
“publication”
i

ncludes
a d
ocument,
b
ook,
m
agazine,
fil
m,
so
und
o
r
v
isual

broadcast,

tape, disc or other material, medium or thing whatsoever in
which, on which or by means of which a statement may be made;
“regulating

authority”,

in

relation

to

any

area,

means

the

police

officer

who,

in terms of section 3, is the regulating authority for that area;

“responsible
officer”

means

a

person

appointed

in

terms

of

section

6(1)

as

res

ponsible
officer

or

deputy

res
ponsible
officer
,
and

includes

any

pers
on

deemed

in terms of section 6(3) to be a responsible officer;
“statement”

means

any

expression

of

fact

or

opinion,

whether

made

orally
,
in

writing, electronically or by visual images;

“thoroughfare”
means

any

road,

street,

lane,

path,

pavement,

sidewalk

or

similar
place which exists for the free passage of persons or vehicles.

3

Regulati
ng authorities
(1)

The

police

officer

in

command

of

each

police

district

shall

be

the

regulating
authority for that police district.
(2)

Whenever in this Act a convener is required to give a convening notice to a
regulating authority, such notice shall be deemed to have been duly given if delivered
to

the

police

officer

in

char
ge
of

a

police

station

closest

in

proximity

to

the

place

where

the

gathering

is

proposed

to

be

held

or
,
in

the

absence

of

the

police

officer

in

char
ge,
the

most senior officer present in that police station.
(3)

The

police

officer

referred

to

in

subsection

(2)

shall

immediately

notify

the

regulating authority of a convening notice received under that subsectio
n.
4 T

emporary prohibition of possession of certain weapons within
particular police districts
(1)

W
ithout
derogation

from

section

28

(“Possession

of

dangerous

weapons”)

of the Criminal Law Code, if a regulating authority believes that the ca
rrying in public
Cap. 11:23 MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND ORDER NO. 9/2019

486
(whether openly or by concealment in a public place or public thoroughfare) or public
display of any of the following weapons or items capable of use as weapons namely,
catapults, machetes, axes, knobkerries, swords, knives or daggers is likely to occasion
public disorder or a breach of the peace, he or she may within his or her police district
prohibit
for

a spe
cified
pe
riod
of

t
ime
not e
xceeding
t
hree
m
onths
t
he
c
arrying
i
n
publ
ic

or public display of any such weapons or items capable of use as weapons
as he or she
shall specify:
Provided that on expiry of the prohibition the regula

ting authority shall not,
within a period of twelve months, renew the prohibition except on good cause shown
on oath to a Magistrate having jurisdiction in the area where the prohibition is to take
effect, upon an ex parte application by the regulating authority concerned.
(2)

A prohibition issued under subsection (1) shall not have effect until it is
published—
(a)

in a newspaper circulating
in the area to which the prohibition applies;
or
(b) by

notices

distributed

among

the

public

or

affixed

upon

public

buildings

in the area to which the prohibition applies; or

(c) by announcement of a police officer broadcast or made orally; or
(d)

by communicatio
n through the traditional leadership in the area where
the prohibition is to take effect.
(3)

Any person who is aggrieved by a prohibition issued under subsection (1)
may

appeal

against

it

to

the

Minister
,
and

the

Minister

may

confirm,

vary

or

set

aside

the prohibition or give such order or direction in the matter as he or s
he thinks just.
(4)

Any person who fails to comply with a prohibition made under subsection
(1)

shall

be

guilty

of

an

of
fence
and

liable

to

a

fine

not

exceeding

level

5

or

to
imprisonment

for

a

period

not

exceeding

six

months

or

to

both

such

fine

and

such

imprisonment.
(5)

A police

officer

may
,
without

warrant,

seize

any

weapon

or

item

capable

of

use as a weapon found in the possession of any person in contravention

of subsection
(1), and shall place in safe custody every weapon or item so seized so that it may be
submitted to the jurisdiction of the court to be dealt with in accordanc
e with section
20.
PART II
G
atherings
5 Appointment of conveners and authorised officers in the case of
processions and public demonstrations
(1)

An organisation intending to hold a procession or a public demonstration
shall appoint—
(a)

a person to be responsible for the arrangement
s for that procession or
public demonstration and to be present thereat, to give notice in terms
of section 7 and to act on its behalf at any consultations or negotiatio
ns
contemplated in section 8, or in connection with any other procedure
contemplated in this Act at which his or her presence is required; and
(b)

a deputy to a pers
on appointed in terms of subparagraph (a).
(2) Such or

ganisation shall forthwith notify in writing the regulating authority
concerned of the names and addresses of the persons appointed under subs
ection (1).
(3) If a person appointed in terms of subsection (1) is or becomes u
nable

to perform or to continue to perform his or her functions in terms of this Part, the

NO. 9/2019 maintenance of Peace and order C ap. 11:23

487
organisation shall forthwith appoint another person in his or her stead, and a person so
appointed shall be deemed to have been appointed in terms of subsection
(1).
(4)

The regulating authority or a person authorised thereto by him or her shall
authorise
one or

m
ore
sui
tably
qua
lified
a
nd
e
xperienced
pol
ice
offic
ers,
e
ither
i
n

general or in a particular

case, to represent the regulating authority at consultations
or negotiations contemplated in section 8, and to perform such other functions as are
conferred
or imposed upon an authorised officer by this Part.
(5)

If

an

authorised

officer

is

or

becomes

unable

to

perform

or

to

continue

to

perform

his or her functions in terms of this Part, the regulating authority or a person
authorised

there
to
by

him

or

her

shall

forthwith

designate

another

police

officer

to

act

in

his

or

her

stead,

either

in

general

or

in

a

particular

case,

and

the

officer

so

designated

shall

be deemed to have been authorised in terms of subsection (4) for the purposes
contemplated in that subsection.
(6)

A regulating authority may delegate all or any of his or her functions under
this

Part

to

one

or

more

authorised

officers,

in

which

event

any

reference

to

a

“regulating
authority”

in this Part is a reference to any one or more such officers.
(7) If any consultations,

negotiations or proceedings in terms of this Part at
which

the

presence

of

a

convener

or

an

authorised

officer

is

required,

are

to

take

place

and

such

convener

or

officer

is

not

available,

such

consultations

or

negotiations

or

other
proceedings

may

be

conducted in

the

absence

of

such

convene
r
or

officer

through

any

proxy

appointed

by

such

convener

or

officer

in

terms

of

subsection

(3)

or

(5),

as

the

case may be, and the or

ganisation or regulating authority, as the case may be, shall be
bound by the result of such consultations, negotiations or proceedings as if it or they
had agreed thereto.
(

8) For the purpose of helping a regulating authority to ascertain that a meeting
is

not

a

“public

meeting”

as

defined

in

section

2

because

it

is

asserted

to

be

a

meeting

of
any or

gan or structure of a political party or other organisation, the regulating authority
may request the political party or other organisation concerned to submit to it from
time to time or at such regular intervals as it may require a list of the members of the
organs or structures of the political party or organisation who are entitled to attend the
meeting concerned.
6 Appointment
of responsible officers in the case

of public meetings
(1)

An organisation intending to hold a public meeting shall appoint—
(a)

a person to be responsible
for the arrangements for that public meeting
and to be present thereat, to give notice in terms of section 7 and to act
on its behalf at any consultations or negotiations contemplated in section
8, or in connection with any other procedure contemplated in this Act at
which his or her presence is required; and
(b)

a deputy to a pers
on appointed in terms of subparagraph (a);
and

such

responsible

officer

shall

be

treated

as

the

convener

for

all

purposes

of

this

Part.
(2) Such or

ganisation shall forthwith notify in writing the regulating authority
concerned of the names and addresses of the persons appointed under subs
ection (1).
(3) If a person appointed in terms of subsection (1) is or becomes u
nable

to perform or to continue to perform his or her functions in terms of this Part, the
organisation shall forthwith appoint another person in his or her stead, and a person so
appointed shall be deemed to have been appointed in terms of subsection
(1).
7

Notice of processions, public demonstrations a
nd public meetings
(1)

The convener shall not later than—
Cap. 11:23 MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND ORDER NO. 9/2019

488
( a) seven days before the date on which a procession or public demonstration
is to be held, give notice of the procession or public demonstration in
writing signed by him or her to the regulating authority for the distric
t in
which the procession or public demonstration is to be held;

(b) five

days

before

the

date

on

which

a

public

meeting

is

to

be

held,

give

notice of the public meeting in writing signed by him or her to the

regulating authority for the district in which the public meeting is to be
held:
Provided that—

(i)
if the convener is not able to reduce a proposed convening notice
to writing

a regulating authority shall at the convener’s request do
it for him or her;
(

ii)
during an election period the period of notice referred to in paragraph

(b) shall be three days.
(2)

The convening notice shall contain at least the following information—
(

a)
the
name, address and telephone or cellphone and electronic mail numbers,
if any, of the convener and his or her deputy;
(b)

the name
of the organisation on whose behalf the gathering is convened
or, if it is not so convened, a statement that it is convened by the convener;
(c)

the purpose of the
gathering;
(d)

the time, duration
and date of the gathering;
(e)

the place where t
he gathering is to be held;
(f)

the anticipated nu
mber of participants;
(g)

the proposed number and, where possible, the names of the marshals
who will

be appointed by the convener, and how the marshals will be
distinguished from the other participants in the gathering;
(h)

in the case of a pr
ocession or public demonstration—
(

i)
the exact and complete route of the procession or public

demonstration; and
(ii)

the
time when and the place at which participants in the procession
or public demonstration are to assemble, and the time when and
the place from which the procession or public demonstration is to
commence; and
(

iii)
the time when and the place where the procession or public

demonstration is to end and the participants are to disperse; and
(iv)

t
he manner in which the participants will be transported to the place
of assembly and from the point of dispersal; and
(v)

the
number and types of vehicles, if any, which are to form part of
the procession; and
(

vi)
i
f a petition or any other document is to be handed over to any person,
the place where and the person to whom it is to be handed over.
(3) If a gathering is postponed or delayed, the convener shall forthwi
th notify
the

regulating authority thereof, and section 8 shall, with such changes as may be
necessary, apply to such postponed or delayed gathering as it applies to gatherings that
are not postponed or delayed.
(4) If a gathering

is cancelled or called off, the convener shall forthwith notify
the regulating authority thereof and the notice given in terms of subsection (1) shall
lapse.

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489
(5) Any person who knowingly fails to give notice of a gathering in terms of
subsection (1), or of the postponement or delay of a gathering in terms of subsection
(3)
shall

be

liab
le
to

a

fine

not

exceeding

level

10

or

to

imprisonment

for

a

period

not

exceeding one year

.
8

Consultations,
negotiations, amendment of notices, and conditions
with respect to gatherings to avoid public disorder
(1) If a

regulating authority in receipt of a convening notice for a procession
or public demonstration is of the opinion that negotiations are not necessary and that
the

procession

or

public

demonstration

may

take

place

as

specified

in

the

convening

notice

or with such amendment of the contents of the notice as may have been agreed
upon by him or her and the convener, he or she shall notify the convener, within three
days of receipt of the convener’s notice, in writing accordingly.
(2) If a regulating authority in receipt of a convening notice for a p
ublic meeting

is of the opinion that negotiations are not necessary and that the public meeting may take
place

as

specified

in

the

convening

notice,

the

public

meeting

may

take

place

without

any

further notification, written or verbal, on the part of the regulating authority.
(3)

If a regulating authority receives credible information on oath that there
is a threat that a proposed procession, public demonstration or public meeting will
result

in

serious

disruption

of

vehicular

or

pedestrian

traffic,

injury

to

participants

in

the procession, public

demonstration or public meeting or other persons, or extensive
damage to property or other public disorder, he or she shall forthwith advise the convener
of the perceived threat and invite the convener to a consultative meeting at a time and
venue

specified by

the

regulati
ng
authority

in

order

to

explore

options

to

prevent

the

threat, and shall af

ford an opportunity to the convener to make representations verbally
or in writing thereon to the regulating authority before that meeting on whether the
perceived threat is real or on the suitability of the time or venue of t
he meeting:
Provided

that

the

time

for

the

meeting

shall

be

specified

for

a

date

no

later

than

seven

days,

in

the

case

of

a

procession

or

public

demonstration,

or

five

days,

in

the case of a public meeting, from the date when the regulatin

g authority received the
convening notice.
Pr

ovided further that the regulating authority may cancel the proposed meeting
or change the time (subject to the previous proviso) or venue of the meeting on the
basis of the verbal or written representations of the convener.
(4)

At a meeting held in terms of subsection (3)—
(

a)
the
regulating authority may invite, or allow to be present, representatives
of such public bodies, including local authorities, and civil society
groups, as in the opinion of such regulating authority ought to be present
at such meeting, in order to discuss any amendment of the contents of
the convening notice and such conditions regarding the conduct of the
procession, public demonstration or public meeting as he or she may
deem necessary;
(

b)
discussions shall be held on the contents of the convening notice,

amendments thereof or additions thereto and the conditions, if any, to be
imposed in respect of the holding of the procession, public demonstratio
n
or public meeting so as to meet the objects of this Part;
(c)

the
regulating authority shall ensure that such discussions take place in
good faith.
(5) If at

a meeting held in terms of subsection (3) agreement is reached, the
procession, public demonstration or public meeting may take place in accordance with
Cap. 11:23 MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND ORDER NO. 9/2019

490
the contents of the convening notice, including amendments, if any, to such contents,
on which agreement was reached at the meeting.
(6)
If at a meeting held in terms of subsection (3) agreement is not reached
on the contents of the convening notice or the conditions regarding the
conduct of the
procession or public demonstration, the regulating authority may, if there are reasonable
grounds

therefo
r,
of

his

or

her

own

accord

or

at

the

request

of

an

authorised

officer

impose conditions with regard to the holding of the procession or public
demonstration

to ensure—
(a) that

vehicular

or

pedestrian

traffic,

especially

during

traffic

rush

hours,

is least impeded; or
(b)

an appropriate distance between participants
in the procession or public
demonstration and rival processions or public demonstrations; or
(c)

access
by non-participants of the gathering to property and workplaces;
or
(d)

the prevention of
injury to persons or damage to property.
(7)

The regulating authority shall ensure as soon as possible that a written copy
of the convening notice, including any amendment thereof and any condition imposed
and the reasons and grounds therefor, is handed to the convener and the authorised
member who, and to every party which attended the meeting referred to in subsection
(3):
Provided that if the identity or whereabouts of the convener is unknown,
or if in

view of the urgency of the case it is not practicable to deliver or tender the said written
notice and reasons and grounds to him or her, the notice shall forthwith, notwithstanding
any provision to the contrary in any other law contained, be published in one or more
of the following manners—
(a)

in a newspaper circulating
where the procession or public demonstration
is to be held; or
(b)

by means of a rad
io or television broadcast; or
(c) by

the

distributio
n
thereof

among

the

public

and

the

affixing

thereof

in

public

or prominent places where the procession or public demonstration
is to be held; or
(

d)
by the announcement thereof orally where the procession or public

demonstration is to be held; or
(e) by

affixing

it

in

a

prominent

place

at

the

address

of

the

convener

specified
in the notice.
(8)

The convener and the regulating authority shall, respectively, ensure that
every

marshal

and

every

police

officer

at

the

procession

or

public

demonstration

know

the contents of the convening notice, including any amendment or conditi
on, if any

.
(9)

After considering representations made in the course of a meeting held in
terms of subsection (3), if any, the regulating authority may, if he or she on reasonable
grounds is convinced that no amendment or condition contemplated in subsection
(5) or (6) would prevent the occurrence of any of the circumstances contemplated in
subsection (3), issue a prohibition notice, giving the reasons and grounds therefor to
the convener.
(10) If the regulating

authority decides to issue a prohibition notice, he or she
shall in a manner contemplated in the proviso to subsection (7), notify the convener,
authorised member and every other person with whom he or she has so met
or consulted,
of the decision and the reasons and grounds therefor.

NO. 9/2019 MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND ORDER C ap. 1

491
(1 1) Any person who knowingly opposes or fails to comply with a prohibition
notice or any directions or conditions under which a procession, public demonst
ration
or
public

meeting

is

authorised,

shall

be

guilty

of

an

of
fence
and

liable

to

a

fine

not

exceeding

level 14 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or to both
such
fine and such imprisonment.
9

Exemption of certain gatherings from sections
5, 6, 7 and 8
Sections 5, 6, 7 and 8 shall not apply to gatherings of a class describe
d in the
Schedule.
10

Gatherings in vicinity of Parliament, courts and
protected places
(1) Subject to subsection (2), all gatherings within a radius of—

(a)

twenty metres of
the vicinity of the Parliament;
(b)

one hundred metres of the vicinity of the Supreme Court, the High Court,

a Magistrates Court or any other court;
(c)

one hundred metres
of any protected place or area declared as such in
terms of the Protected Areas and Places Act [Chapter 11:12];
are prohibited.
(2) Subsection

(1) does not apply to any gathering for which seven days prior
notice has been given to the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Chief Justice, the
Judge President or the responsible authority of a place referred to in subsection (1)
(c),
as the case may be, and for which leave has been granted in writing to the convener
thereof:
Provided that the convener shall give prior notice of such gathering in
writing,
together with the appropriate notice attached thereto, to the regulating
authority

.
(3)

For

the

avoidance

of

doubt

it

is

declared

that

a

“gathering”

in

subsection

(1) does not refer to a gathering of any persons who are employed in,
or concerned in
a

ny business conducted at, Parliament or a court or other place referred to in subsection
(1).
1

1
Appeals
(1)

Any convener who is aggrieved by—
(a)

any prohibition n
otice; or
(b)

the contents of the directions
issued in terms of section 8, or conditions
under which a gathering is authorised, including any amendment thereof;
may appeal against it to the Magistrates Court in the area where the gat
hering is
proposed

to

be

held,

and

the

magistrate

may

confirm,

vary

or

set

aside

the

prohibition

notice,

direction, condition or order and give such order or direction in the matter as
he or she thinks just:
Provided that the noting of an appeal

in terms of this section shall not have the
effect of suspending any prohibition order appealed against.
(2)

An appeal in terms of subsection (1) shall be dealt with on an urgent basis
and in any case before the date of the proposed gathering unless, due to the fault of the
convener, the appeal is not lodged timeously.
Cap. 11:23 MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND ORDER NO. 9/2019

492
12 Civil liab ility in certain circumstances of convener of a gathering
(1) If the convener of a gathering—
(a)

has not given
notice of the holding of the gathering in terms of section
7(1); or
(

b)
fai
ls or refuses to comply to the best of his or her ability with any direction,
notice or order given in terms of section 7 or 8;
he or she shall be liable, at the suit of any injured party, for any loss of or damage to
property and any injury to or death of a person occasioned by any public disorder or
breach of the peace caused by the gathering.
(2)

Where there is more than one convener of a gathering, their liability under
this section shall be joint and several, unless the convener or conveners can show on
a balance of probabilities that they were not a party to any breach of s
ubsection (1).
(3)

In any proceedings in which it is alleged that a convener of a gathering is
liable in terms of subsection (1) for any loss, damage, injury or death, the convener
shall bear the onus of proving on a balance of probabilities—
(a)

that
he or she gave notice of the holding of the gathering in terms of
section 7;
(b)

that he or she complied to the best of his or her ability
with any direction
or order that is proved to have been made in relation to the gathering.
(4)

This section shall be construed as adding to, and not as derogating from,
any other law under which a convener of a gathering or any other person may be liable
for any loss, damage, injury or death caused by or arising out of or occurring at the
gathering.
(5)

Subject to Part XIX of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act [Chapter
9:07], a court which has convicted a person of any offence in terms of section 7 or 8
that involves any loss, damage, injury or death for which that person is liable in terms
of this section shall forthwith award compensation to any person who has suffered
personal injury or whose right or interest in property of any description has been lost
or diminished as a direct result of the offence.
13

Powers of Police
(1) During the course of a gathering, whether held in compliance

with this Act
or
not, and whether consisting of more or less than fifteen persons, a police officer—
(

a)
may
, if he or she has reasonable grounds to believe that the Police
Service will not be able to provide adequate protection for the persons
participating in such a gathering, notify the convener and such persons
accordingly;
(b)

may prevent people participating in the gathering from proceeding to a

different

place

or

deviating

from

the

route

specified

in

the

convening

notice
or any amendment thereof or from disobeying any direction or condition

to which the holding of the gathering is subject in terms of this Act;
(

c)
may
, in the case of a regulating authority not receiving a notice in terms
of
section 7(1) more than forty-eight hours before the gathering, restrict the
gathering to a place or guide the participants along a route, to ensure—

(i) that
vehicul
ar
or

pedestrian

traffic,

especially

during

traffic

rush

hours, is least impeded, or an appropriate distance between

participants in the gathering and rival gatherings; or
(ii)

access to property and workplaces; or

NO. 9/2019 MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND ORDER C ap. 11:23

493
(iii) the preventi on of injury to persons or damage to property;
(d)

may order any person or group of persons inte
rfering or attempting to
interfere with a gathering to cease such conduct and to remain at a dist
ance
from
such gathering specified by him or her;
(

e)
may
, when an incident, whether or not it results from the gathering, causes
or may cause persons to gather at any public place, by notice in a manner
contemplated in the proviso to section 8(7) specify an area considered by
him or her to be necessary for—
(i)

the moveme
nt and operation of emergency personnel and vehicles;
or
(ii)

the passage of a gathering; or

(iii) the movement of traffic; or
(iv)

the exclusio
n of the public from the vicinity; or
(v)

the protectio
n of property;

(f)

take all such steps, including
negotiations with the relevant persons, as
are in the circumstances reasonable and appropriate to protect persons
and property, whether or not they are participating in the gathering.
(2) In the circumstances

where the holding or continuance of a gathering is
unlawful by virtue of any prohibition notice or any direction or order under section
8, or if, during the course of a lawful gathering, any act is committed that constitutes
a

danger

to

persons

and

property
,
a

police

officer

of

or

above

the

rank

of

assistant

inspector may

, and only then, take the following steps—
(a)

call upon the persons participating
in the gathering to disperse, and for
that purpose he or she shall endeavour to obtain the attention of those
persons by such lawful means as he or she deems most suitable; and then,
(b)

in
a loud voice order them in English and in ChiShona or SiNdebele or
any other language recognised by the Constitution, to disperse and to
depart

from

the

place

of

the

gathering

within

a

time

specified

by

him

or

her

, which shall be reasonable.
(3)

If

within

the

time

specified

under

subsection

(2)(b)

the

persons

gathered

have

not

so

dispersed

or

have

made

no

preparations

to

disperse,

the

police

officer

concerned

may

order

the

police

officers

under

his

or

her

command

to

disperse

the

persons concerned and may for that purpose order the use of force, exclu
ding the use
of weapons likely to cause serious bodily injury or death.
(4)

The degree of force which may be so used shall not be greater than is
necessary for dispersing the persons gathered and shall be reasonable and proportionate
to the circumstances of the case and the object to be attained.
(5) If any person who participates

in a gathering or any person who hinders,
obstructs or interferes with persons who participate in a gathering—
(a)

kills
or seriously injures, or attempts to kill or seriously injure, or shows
a manifest intention of killing or seriously injuring, any person; or
(

b)
destroys or does seri
ous damage to, or attempts to destroy or to do serious
damage to, or shows a manifest intention of destroying or doing serious
damage to, any immovable property or movable property considered to
be valuable;
a

police

officer

of

or

above

the

rank

of

assistant

inspector

may

order

the

police

officers

under his

or her command to take the necessary steps to prevent the action contemplated
in paragraph (a) or (b).
Cap. 11:23 MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND ORDER NO. 9/2019

494
(6) The degree of force which may be so used for the purposes of subsection
(5) shall not be greater than is necessary for the prevention of the actions contemplated
in subsection (5)(a) or (b), and the force shall be moderated and be proportionate to
the circumstances of the case and the object to be attained.
(7) No statutory or common law principles regarding self-defence, nece
ssity
and protection of property

, shall be affected by the provisions of this Act.PART III
enforcement and Preservation of Public o rder and security
14 Persons to carry identity documents
(1) In this section—

“arrestable
of
fence”
means

an

of
fence
specified

in

the

First

Schedule

to

the

Criminal Procedure and Evidence

Act [Chapter 9:07];
“identity
document” means—
(a)

a document
issued to a person in terms of section 7(1) or (2) of the
National Registration Act [Chapter 10:17], or a passport or drivers
licence issued by or on behalf of the Government of Zimbabwe; or
(b) any

visitors

entry

certificate

or

other

certific
ate
or

permit

issued

to

a

person in terms of the

Immigration Act [Chapter 4:02], or in terms
of any enactment relating to refugees; or
(

c)
a
ny passport, identity document or drivers licence issued by a foreign
government.
(2)

If

a

police

officer

has

a

reasonable

suspicion

that

any

person

in

a

public

place

has

committed

or

is

attempting

to

commit

an

of
fence,
the

officer

may

require

the

person to produce his or her identity document.
(3)

Any person who fails to produce his or her identity document immediately
on
being required to do so by a police officer—
(

a)
a
cting in good faith in the course of investigating or preventing an
arrestable offence; or
(

b)
a
t the scene or in the immediate vicinity of the commission of an arrestable
offence committed within the preceding forty-eight hours; or
(c)

within a police co
rdon; or
(d)

at a police road b
lock; or
(e)

in
the immediate vicinity of any area controlled or protected in terms
of the Defence Act [Chapter 11:02], the Protected Places and Areas Act
[Chapter 11:12] or the Parks and Wild Life Act [Chapter 20:14]; or
(f)

at a public gather
ing or a public meeting of a political nature;
shall

be

af
forded
by

the

police

officer

an

opportunity
,
within

seven

days

thereafter
,
of

producing

his

or

her

identity

document

at

a

police

station

specified

by

notice

in

writing

issued

by

the

police

officer

who

required

him

or

her

to

produce

his

or

her

identity

document.
(4)

Any person who fails to produce his or her identity document within seven
days

mentioned in

subsection

(4)

shall

be

guilty

of

an

of
fence
and

liable

to

a

fine

not

exceeding level 3.
15

Cordon and search

(1)
A police

officer

of

or

above

the

rank

of

inspector

may

establish

a

cordon

around a

ny area if he or she considers it reasonably necessary in the interests of defence,

no. 9/2019 MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND ORDER c ap. 11:23

495
public safety, public order, public morality, public health, regional or town planning or
the general public interest.
(2)
Any person who, otherwise than in terms of a written permit issued by a
police

officer
,
knowingly

enter
s
or

leaves

any

area

around

which

a

cordon

has

been

established

under

subsection

(1)

shall

be

guilty

of

an

of
fence
and

liable

to

a

fine

not

exceeding

level 5 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both
such
fine and such imprisonment.
(3)

A peace

officer

may

without

warrant,

within

the

area

around

which

a

cordon
has been established in terms of subsection (1)—
(a)

conduct a search
for—
(i)

any person reasonably suspected of having committed
an offence
relating to or arising out of public disorder or public violence which
gave rise to the establishment of the cordon; or
(ii)

any evidenc
e relating to an offence referred to in subparagraph (i);
or
(b)

arrest any person referred to in paragraph (a).
16

Powers of stopping and searching

(1)
A
police officer may stop and, without warrant—
(a)

search any person, vehicle
or vessel entering or leaving Zimbabwe and
any person in or upon such vehicle or vessel; and
(b)

seize any thing;
in circumstance

s where there are reasonable grounds for believing that the search or
seizure is necessary in the interests of public safety, public order or public health or
for the prevention, investigation or detection of a criminal offence.
(2)

If

a

police

officer

of

or

above

the

rank

of

inspector

considers

it

reasonably
necessary in the interests of public safety

, public order or public health to exercise without
warrant the powers referred to in subsection (1) in respect of vehicles, vessels and persons
in or upon such vehicles or vessels anywhere in Zimbabwe, he or she may authorise the
erection of a road block or checkpoint for the purposes of stopping vehi
cles or vessels
so that they can be searched, and thereupon such powers may be so exerci
sed.
(3)

Any person who fails or refuses to stop when so required in terms of this
section or takes any measures to prevent being stopped or searched in terms of this
section

shall

be

guilty

of

an

of
fence
and

liable

to

a

fine

not

exceeding

level

6

or

to

imprisonment

for

a

period

not

exceeding

twelve

months

or

to

both

such

fine

and

such

imprisonment.

(4)
Fo
r
t
he
p
urposes
o
f
t
his
se
ction
a “
checkpoint”
i
s
a
ny
b
arrier
o
therwise
t
han

on a road that is clearly

signposted as a police checkpoint whereat three or more police
officers

may

conduct

security

checks

in

terms

of

this

section on

persons,

vehicles

or

vessels passing through the checkpoint.
1

7 Powers
of

police

offi
cers
in

relatio
n
to

aircraft, aerodromes

and
airstrips
(1) In this section—

“aerodrome”
has

the

meaning

given

to

it

by

section

2

of

the

Civil

A
viation
Act

[

Chapter 13:16];
“airstrip”
means a cleared area for the landing and taking-off of aircraft.
(2)

A
police officer may without warrant—
Cap. 11:23 MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND ORDER NO. 9/2019

496
(a) board any aircraf t that has landed in or is about to depart from Zimbabwe
and search it and any person in or upon such aircraft; and
(b)

for the purpose of paragraph (a) but subject to subsection (4)—
(i)

enter upon a
nd search any aerodrome or airstrip; and
(

ii)
remain
at any aerodrome or airstrip for so long as he or she considers
it necessary for the proper performance of his or her duties;

and
(

c)
search any person present within the aerodrome or airstrip or in the

immediate vicinity of the aerodrome or airstrip; and
(d)

seize any thing;
in circumstance

s where there are reasonable grounds for believing that the search or
seizure is necessary in the interests of public safety, public order or public health or
for the prevention, investigation or detection of a criminal offence.
(3)

If

a

police

officer

of

or

above

the

rank

of

inspector considers

it

reasonably

necessary

in the interests of public safety, public order or public health to exercise
without warrant the powers referred to in subsection (2) in respect of aircraft, aerodromes
or airstrips and persons in or upon such aircraft, aerodromes or airstri
ps anywhere in
Zimbabwe, he or she may, subject to subsection (4), authorise the presence of any police
officer

at

such

aerodrome

or

airstrip

and

thereupon

such

powers

may

be

so

exercised.
(5) If t

he Minister is of the opinion that it is desirable in the interests of defence,
public safety, public order or public health to do so, he may, by notice in a statutory
instrument,

declare

that

during

such

period

as

may

be

specified

in

such

notice,

police

officers

may
,
without

warrant,

exercise
the
powers

referred

to

in

subsection

(2)

or

(3)

in respect of aircraft,

aerodromes or airstrips and persons in or upon such aircraft,
aerodromes or airstrips anywhere in Zimbabwe, and for that purpose to remain at an
aerodrome or airstrip for more than forty-eight hours at a time without the consent of
the Civil Aviation Authority referred to in section 4 of the Civil Aviation Act [Chapter
13:16] or the owner of the aerodrome or airstrip, as the case may be.
(6)

Any

person

who

hinders

or

obstructs

any

police

officer

in

the

exercise

of

his
or her powers in terms of this section

or takes any measures to prevent an aerodrome,
airstrip or aircraft or any person in or upon such aircraft, aerodrome or airstrip being
searched

in

terms

of

this

sectio
n
shall

be

guilty

of

an

of
fence
and

liable

to

a

fine

not

exceeding

level 6 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding twelve months or to
both
such fine and such imprisonment.PART IVG
eneral
18 When Defence Forces may assist Police Servic e under this Act

(1) In this section—

“promptly”
means

within

seven

days

when

Parliament

next

sits

after

any
deployment of the Defence Forces in terms of subsection (2).
(2) If, upon a request

made by the Commissioner-General of Police, the Minister
is

satisfied

that

any

regulating

authority

requires

the

assistance

of

the

Defence

Forces

for

the purpose of suppressing any civil commotion or disturbance in any police district,
he or she may request the President to authorise the Defence Forces to assist the police
in the exercise of their functions under this Act in the police district concerned.
(3)

When the Defence Forces are deployed within Zimbabwe pursuant to
subsection (2), the President must cause Parliament to be informed promptly and in

NO. 9/2019 maintenance of Peace and order C ap. 11:23

497
appropriate detail of the reasons of their deployment and the place where they were
deployed.
(4)
Where authority is given under subsection (2) for the Defence Forces to
assist the police—
(a)

every member of the Defence Forces who
has been detailed to assist the
police in any police district in the exercise of their functions under this
Act shall be under the command of the regulating authority concerned;
and
(b) a

member

of

the

Defence

Forces

who

is

assisting

a

police

officer

in

the

exercise

of his or her functions under this Act shall have the same powers,
functions and authority, and be subject to the same responsibilities,
discipline and penalties, as a member of the Police Service, and liable
in respect of acts done or omitted to be done to the same extent as he or
she would have been liable in the same circumstances if he or she were a
member

of

the

Police

Service,

and

shall

have

the

benefit

of

any

indemnity
to which a member of the Police Service would in the same circumstances

be entitled.
19

Powers of
seizure and forfeiture in relation to vehicles, aircraft and
vessels
(1)

Where any person is convicted of an offence under Chapter III (“Crimes
Against
the State”), Chapter IV

(“Crimes
Against
Public Order”) or section 176
(“Assaulting

or

resisting

peace

officer”)

or

section

177

(“Undermining

of

police
authority”)

of

the

Criminal

Law

Code,

the

court

may

order

that

any

vehicle,

aircraft

or vessel used to commit

or enable the offence to be committed shall be forfeited to
the State:
Provided that,

if it is proved that such vehicle, aircraft or vessel is not the
property of the person convicted and that its owner was—
(a)

unaware that the vehicle,
aircraft or vessel, as the case may be, was being
so used; or
(b)

unable
to prevent its use for the purpose of or in connection with the
commission of the offence;
the court shall not make any such order in respect thereof.
(2)

Subject

to

subsection

(3),

where

a

police

officer

believes

on

reasonable

grounds

that any vehicle, aircraft or vessel which is liable to forfeiture in terms of
subsection (1) is likely to be removed from Zimbabwe unless it is detained, he or she
may seize and detain any such vehicle, aircraft or vessel so that it may be submitted to
the jurisdiction of the court to be dealt with in accordance with subsec
tion (1).
(3)

A magistrate may, on application by the owner of a vehicle, aircraft or vessel
seized in terms of subsection (2), permit such owner, on such sureties as the magistrate
may approve—
(a)

to enter into a bon
d for an amount approved by the magistrate; and
(b) to

deposit

with

the

clerk

of

court

such

sum,

if

any
,
as

may

be

fixed

by

the

magistrate to satisfy any judgment which may be given on the bond;
whereupon the vehicle, aircraft or vessel shall be returned to the owner

.
(4)

A bond entered into in terms of subsection (3) shall be subject to the
condition that the owner shall submit the vehicle, aircraft or vessel to
the jurisdiction
of the court trying the offence concerned when so required, and may be subject to such
other
conditions as the magistrate thinks fit to impose in the circumstances.
Cap. 11:23 MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND ORDER NO. 9/2019

498
(5) Upon breach of any condition of a bond entered into in terms of su
bsection
(3), any court may, on application by the Minister, give judgment against such person
or his or her sureties in accordance with the provisions of the bond.
20

Powers of search, seizure and forfeiture generally
(1) For the avoidance of doubt it is declared that—
(

a)
an arres
t or search of any person or premises or of any person or premises
in any area in terms of this Act shall be conducted in accordance with
Parts V and VI of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act [Chapter
9:07] or any other enactment which regulates such arrest or search, and,
in particular, section 41(4) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act
[Chapter 9:07] shall apply to the search of any woman;
(

b)
except
to the extent expressly provided in this Act, Part VI of the Criminal
Procedure and Evidence Act [Chapter 9:07] shall apply to any weapon,
item capable of use as a weapon, publication, equipment, vehicle, aircra
ft,
vessel or other article seized or detained in terms of this Act.
(2)

The powers conferred by Parts V and VI of the Criminal Procedure and
Evidence Act [Chapter 9:07]

on

a

police

officer

may

be

exercised

by

any

peace

officer

within the area around which a cordon has been established in terms of s
ection 15(1).
21

Special jurisdiction of magistrates
(1) Notwithstanding anything in the Magistrates Court

Act [Chapter 7:10] or in any other enactment, where a person is convicted of a contravention of any of
the

provisions

of

this

Act

or

of

Chapter

III

(“Crimes

Against

the

State”),

Chapter

IV
(“Crimes

Against

Public

Order”)

or

section

176

(“Assaulting

or

resisting

peace

officer”)
or

section 177 (“Undermining of police authority”) of the Criminal Law Code—
(

a)
a court of a magistrate, other than a regional, provincial or senior

magistrate, shall have special jurisdiction to impose, on summary trial
or on remittal by the Prosecutor-General of the case for trial or sentence,
a

fine

not

excee
ding
level

8

or

imprisonment

for

a

period

not

exceeding

three years;
(b)

a court of a senior or provincial
magistrate shall have special jurisdiction
to impose, on summary trial or on remittal by the Prosecutor-General of
the

case

for

trial

or

sentence,

a

fine

not

exceeding

level

12

or

imprisonment
for a period not exceeding ten years;
(c)

a
court of a regional magistrate shall have special jurisdiction to impose,
on summary trial or on remittal by the Prosecutor-General of the case
for

trial

or

sentence,

a

fine

not

exceeding

level

14

or

imprisonment

for

a

period not exceeding twenty years.
(2) Subsection (1) shall apply in relation to a person who is convic
ted of—
(a)

attempting
to contravene or inciting another person or conspiring with
another person to contravene any of the provisions of this Act or any of
the provisions of the Criminal Law Code referred to in subsection (1); or
(

b)
being an accessory after the fact to the commission of the crime of

contravening any of the provisions of this Act or any of the provisions
of the Criminal Law Code referred to in subsection (1);
as though he or she had been convicted of a contravention of any of the provisions of
this Act or of the provisions of the Criminal Law Code referred to in subsect
ion (i).
(3) Nothing in

this section shall be construed as authorising a court to impose
for any contravention of any provision of this Act or any of the provisions of the

NO. 9/2019 MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND ORDER C ap. 11:23

499
Criminal Law Code referred to in subsection (1), a punishment greater
than may, under
the relevant provision of this Act or the Criminal Law Code, be imposed therefor, or as
preventing a court from imposing, as often as it is specially authorised
by any enactment
to do so, any other punishment than the punishment mentioned in this sec
tion.
22
Amendment of Schedule
(1) Subject to subsection (2), the Minister may

, by notice in a statutory
instrument, at any time add to, amend or replace the Schedule.
(2)

Where the Minister seeks to amend the Schedule by reducing the classes of
public gathering described in the Schedule, the Minister shall, within t
he next fourteen
days on which Parliament sits after he or she makes a statutory instrument in terms of
subsection (1), lay it before Parliament, and the statutory instrument shall not come
into force unless approved by resolution of Parliament.
23

Saving o
f other laws as to riotous gatherings, etc.
Nothing in this

Act shall be construed as affecting the right or duty of any person
under any other law to disperse riotous gatherings and to prevent or suppress other
unlawful acts, or to assist in such dispersal, prevention or suppression
.
24

Repeal of Cap. 1
1:17
The Public

Order and Security Act [Chapter 11:17] is repealed.SCHEDULE (Section 9 and 22)
classes of Public g atherings to which sections 5, 6, 7 and 8 d oes not aPPly
Public gat herings—
(

a)
held exclusively for
bona fide religious, educational, recreational, sporting
or charitable purposes or any two or more such purposes;
(b)

held exclusively f
or the purposes of—
(i)

baptism; or
(ii)

wedding; or
(iii)

funeral; or
(iv)

cremation;
(c)

of members
of professional, vocational or occupational bodies held for
purposes which are not political;
(d)

for the purposes of agricultural shows;
(e)

at any
bona fide theatrical, cinematographic or musical entertainment or
any
circus or fireworks display;
(f)

at any bona fide
sale of goods or animals;
(

g)
at a draw for prizes in any lottery held in terms of the Lotteries and G
aming

Act [Chapter 10:26];
(

h)
for the purposes of a luncheon, dinner or dance given or held by any clu
b,

association or organisation which is not of a political nature;
(i)

held by any club, association or or
ganisation which is not of a political
nature and at which the discussions and matters dealt with are not of a
political nature;
(j)

he
ld by a registered trade union for bona fide trade union purposes for the
conduct of business in accordance with the Labour Act [Chapter 28:01];
Cap. 11:23 MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND ORDER NO. 9/2019

500
( k) held to form any club, ass ociation or organisation which is not of a political
nature;
(l)

for the purposes of an industrial show;
(m)

meetings of tradit
ional leaders with their subjects.

NO. 9/2019 MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND ORDER C ap. 1

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