Zimbabwe

English

This section contains a brief description of the legal system in Zimbabwe and lists research and documents relevant to pre-trial justice in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe gained independence from Britain on 18 April 1980. Robert Mugabe was Prime Minister from 1980-1987, with Canaan Banana the ceremonial State President. In 1987 Mugabe took over the Presidency and transformed it into an executive presidency.

Opposition to Mugabe and Zanu-PF government grew considerably after the mid-1990s in part due to worsening economic and human rights conditions. The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was established in September 1999 as an opposition party founded by trade unionist Morgan Tsvangirai.

Mugabe began a land redistribution campaign in 2000 which contributed to economic failure. Mugabe rigged the 2002 presidential election to ensure his re-election, and Zanu-PF used fraud and intimidation to win a two-thirds majority in the March 2005 parliamentary election, allowing it to amend the constitution at will and recreate the Senate, which had been abolished in the late 1980s.

In April 2005, government embarked on Operation Restore Order, ostensibly an urban rationalization program, which resulted in the destruction of the homes or businesses of 700,000 mostly poor supporters of the opposition. In June 2007 price controls were instituted on all basic commodities causing panic buying and leaving store shelves empty for months.

General elections held in March 2008 contained irregularities but  the opposition won a majority of seats in parliament. MDC opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai won the most votes in the presidential polls, but not enough to win outright. In the lead up to a run-off election in late June 2008, considerable violence against opposition party members led to his withdrawal from the ballot. Extensive evidence of violence and intimidation resulted in international condemnation of the process.

Negotiations over a power-sharing government, leading to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) in which Mugabe remained president and Tsvangirai became prime minister, were finally settled in February 2009.

Although there has been some recovery of the economy after the collapse of 2006-2008, Mugabe and Zanu-PF largely retain control over the police, the prosecution and the army. Manufactured criminal charges leading to extensive periods of pre-trial detention are routinely used against political and rights activists.

A new Constitution was approved in a referendum in March 2013 and adopted by Parliament in May 2013. The Constitution provides for certain rights of arrested and detained persons, the rights of accused persons, and  prohibits torture.

General elections were held in in July 2013, in which the incumbent President, Robert Mugabe, was re-elected, and his ZANU-PF party won a two-thirds majority in the House of Assembly.

Zimbabwe has a mixed legal system of English common law, Roman-Dutch civil law, and customary law.

ACJR provided technical assistance to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) and the Law Society of Zimbabwe on issues pertaining to pre-trial detention and partnered with them on a report on the analysis of the criminal justice system, a study which provides a structural description of the criminal justice system, prison law and conditions of detention in general in Zimbabwe.

The laws of Zimbabwe are published by the Zimbabwe Parliament here.

French

Cette section contient une brève description du système judiciaire Zimbabwéen ainsi qu’une liste de recherches et de documents pertinents à la justice avant- procès au Zimbabwe.

Le Zimbabwe a acquit son indépendance vis-à-vis de la Grande-Bretagne le 18 Avril 1980. Robert Mugabe fut premier ministre de 1980 à 1987 sous la présidence de Canaan Banana, le premier président du Zimbabwe. En 1987, Mugabe accéda à la présidence et modifia la Constitution.

L'opposition à Mugabe et au gouvernement Zanu-PF accrut considérablement dans  les années 1990, en partie suite à la détérioration de la situation économique et celle du respect des droits humains. Le Mouvement pour le changement démocratique (MDC) fut créé en Septembre 1999 en tant que parti d'opposition fondé par le syndicaliste Morgan Tsvangirai.

En 2000, Mugabe lança une campagne de redistribution des terres qui concourut à l'échec économique de sa politique. Mugabe aurait truqué l'élection présidentielle de 2002 afin d'assurer sa réélection, et le Zanu-PF aurait utilisé la fraude et l'intimidation pour remporter une majorité des deux tiers lors de l'élection parlementaire de Mars 2005. Ceci permit au Zanu-PF de modifier la Constitution à sa guise et de recréer le Sénat, qui avait été aboli à la fin des années 1980.

En Avril 2005, le gouvernement lança une opération de rétablissement de l'ordre, sous prétexte d'un programme de rationalisation urbaine. Cette opération entraîna la destruction des maisons ou d'entreprises de 700.000 personnes, dont la plus part étaient des partisans de l'opposition. En Juin 2007, des contrôles de prix sur tous les produits de base furent institués, provoquant la panique et laissant les rayons des magasins vides pendant des mois.

Malgré que les élections générales de Mars de 2008 aient été truffées d’irrégularités, l'opposition remporta la majorité des sièges au parlement. Le leader de l'opposition, Morgan Tsvangirai, remporta plusieurs votes aux élections présidentielles, mais pas assez pour gagner d'emblée. Lors de la campagne pour le second tour, fin de Juin 2008, des violences considérables contre des membres des partis d'opposition entraînèrent le retrait de Tsvangirai de la course à la présidentielle. De nombreuses preuves de ces violences et d'intimidations aboutirent à la condamnation internationale du processus électoral.

Les négociations amorcées pour la création d’un gouvernement de partage du pouvoir aboutirent en Février 2009. Selon l’accord politique obtenu, le Global Political Agreement –GPA, Mugabe resterait président et M. Tsvangirai deviendrait Premier ministre.

Bien qu'il y ait eu une certaine relance de l'économie après l'effondrement de 2006-2008, Mugabe et le Zanu-PF conservent en grande partie le contrôle de la police, du parquet et de l'armée. Des accusations criminelles fabriquées de toutes pièces donnant lieu à de longues périodes de détention provisoire sont couramment utilisées contre les militants politiques et les activistes des droits de l’homme.

Une nouvelle constitution fut approuvée par référendum en mars 2013, et adoptée par le Parlement en mai 2013. La Constitution accorde certains droits aux personnes arrêtées et détenues, stipule les droits des personnes accusées d’une infraction et interdit la torture.

Des élections législatives se sont tenues en juillet 2013, lors desquelles le président sortant, Robert Mugabe, fur réélu, et son parti (le ZANU-PF) obtint la majorité des deux-tiers à l’Assemblée Nationale (« House of Assembly »).

Le Zimbabwe est doté d'un système judiciaire mixte de common law, de droit civil romano-germanique et de droit coutumier.

L'ACJR a fourni une assistance technique à l'organisation Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights(ZLHR) ainsi qu'au Barreau du Zimbabwe sur les questions relatives à la détention provisoire et a collaboré avec eux sur un rapport sur l'analyse de la chaîne pénale. Cette étude fournit une description structurée de la chaîne pénale, du systèe juridique pénitentiaire et des conditions de détention générales au Zimbabwe.

Les lois du Zimbabwe sont publiées par le Parlement du Zimbabwe et son disponibles ici.

Portuguese

Esta secção contém uma breve descrição do sistema jurídico do Zimbabwe e elenca pesquisas e documentos pertinentes à justiça preventiva no Zimbabwe.

O Zimbabué ganhou a independência da Grã-Bretanha em 18 de Abril de 1980. Robert Mugabe foi o primeiro-ministro (1980-1987), com Canaan Banana Presidente do Estado com funções de representação. Em 1987, Mugabe assumiu a Presidência e transformou-a numa presidência executiva.

A oposição a Mugabe e ao governo Zanu-PF cresceu consideravelmente a partir de meados da década de 1990, em parte devido ao agravamento das condições econômicas e de direitos humanos. O Movimento para a Mudança Democrática (Movement for Democratic Change, MDC) foi criado em Setembro de 1999 como partido de oposição fundado pelo sindicalista Morgan Tsvangirai.

Mugabe iniciou uma campanha de redistribuição de terras, em 2000 que contribuiu para o fracasso econômico. Mugabe fraudou as eleições presidenciais de 2002 para garantir sua reeleição, e o Zanu-PF usou a fraude e intimidação para ganhar uma maioria de dois terços nas eleições parlamentares de Março de 2005, que lhe permitiu alterar livremente a Constituição e recriar o Senado, que tinha sido abolido no final de 1980.

Em Abril de 2005, o governo iniciou a Operação Restauração da Ordem, um programa de racionalização urbana, que resultou na destruição de casas ou empresas de mais de 700.000 adeptos da oposição, na sua maioria pobres. Em Junho de 2007, controlos de preços de todos os produtos básicos foram instituídos, causando pânico e deixando vazias as prateleiras, durante meses.

As eleições gerais realizadas em Março de 2008 foram irregulares, mas a oposição conquistou a maioria dos assentos no parlamento. O líder da oposição, Morgan Tsvangirai do MDC ganhou a maioria dos votos nas eleições presidenciais, mas não o suficiente para vencer a título definitivo. Nas vésperas do segundo turno das eleições, no final de Junho de 2008, a violência contra os membros do partido da oposição levou à sua retirada da cédula. Evidências de violência e intimidação resultaram na condenação internacional do processo.

As negociações sobre um governo de partilha de poder, para um Acordo Político Global (Global Political Agreement, GPA), no qual Mugabe permanecia como presidente e Tsvangirai se tornava primeiro-ministro, foram finalmente resolvidas em Fevereiro de 2009.

Embora uma recuperação da economia após o colapso de 2006-2008, Mugabe e Zanu-PF mantem, em grande parte,  o controle da polícia,  Ministério Público e do exército. Fabricadas acusações criminais que levam a longos períodos de prisão preventiva são rotineiramente usadas contra activistas políticos e de direitos humanos.

A nova Constituição foi aprovada num referendo em Março de 2013 e adoptada pelo Parlamento em Maio de 2013. A Constituição prevê determinados direitos das pessoas presas e detidas, os direitos dos arguidos, e proíbe a tortura.

As eleições gerais foram realizadas em Julho de 2013, em que o actual presidente, Robert Mugabe, foi reeleito, e o seu partido ZANU-PF conquistou a maioria de dois terços no Parlamento.

O Zimbabué tem um sistema jurídico misto de direito comum Inglês, direito civil romano-holandês, e direito consuetudinário.

A ACJR prestou assistência técnica aos Advogados para os Direitos Humanos de Zimbábue (Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, ZLHR) e à Sociedade de Advogados do Zimbábue (Law Society of Zimbabwe, LSZ) sobre questões relacionadas com a prisão preventiva e associou-os a um relatório sobre a análise do sistema de justiça penal, um estudo que fornece uma descrição estrutural do sistema de justiça criminal, direito penitenciário e em geral sobre as condições de reclusão no Zimbábue. 

As leis do Zimbabué publicadas pelo Parlamento,  são publicadas aqui.

"I can arrest you": The Zimbabwe Republic Police and your rights
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 15, 2012

This report is by Sokwanele, a popular protest underground movement based in Zimbabwe. "This report focuses on the risk of arrest at the hands of the partisan Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) under the command of Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, who has publicly acknowledged his allegiance to ZANU-PF. Chihuri has served as police head since 1993 and his contract has been renewed by President Mugabe 13 times since 1997. Chihuri is a member of Joint Operations Command (JOC), the junta which continues to control Zimbabwe. In a country where the Rule of Law is no longer operational and the security forces operate with impunity, every citizen is vulnerable. A chance remark in a taxi, at a pub or even at a funeral could lead to arrest and possible incarceration in one of the country’s disgracefully maintained jails. Those who stand up for their rights and join demonstrations or canvass for political parties other than ZANU-PF face possible arrest, severe beatings and torture in custody."

Constitution of Zimbabwe
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 12, 2011

Constitution of Zimbabwe, as amended at the 14 September, 2005 (up to and including Amendment No. 17)

S v Madzokere and Others [2011] ZWHHC 154
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 01, 2011

"The release of an accused person on bail is aimed at enabling him to attend trial from out of custody. It does not mean he or she has no case to answer. On the other hand the detention of an accused in custody is to secure his or her attendance to stand trial, if there are genuine grounds for believing that the factors mentioned in section 117 (2) have been established against him. That is why the seriousness of the charge the accused is facing is not on its own enough to deny an accused person bail. The court must therefore endevour to strike a balance between the interests of justice, and the accused’s liberty. Section 117 (1) leans in favour of the liberty of the accused person, hence the use of the words, “shall be entitled to be released on bail at any time after he or she has appeared in court on a charge and before sentence is imposed, unless the court finds that it is in the interests of justice that he or she should be detained in custody.” The intention of the legislature was obviously to make s 117 consistent with the presumption of the accused’s innocence until proved guilty. That proof or lack of it can only be established at the accused’s trial."

Zimbabwe at the Crossroads
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 01, 2011

by Takawira Musavengana, OpenSpace Issue 1 June 2011 page 28 "Security Sector - No transition without transformation"

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