Application in Magistrates Court (Zimbabwe)

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Magistrates powers to grant bail or to alter bail conditions are now severely restricted. In terms of s 116(1)(b) CPEA, where X has been charged with any of the offences specified in the Third Schedule, magistrates may only grant bail if the Attorney-General has consented to X's admission to bail.

Section 117(6) contains further restrictions on the granting of bail by magistrates.

For charges of offences contained in Part 1 or Part II of the Third Schedule, unless the Attorney-General has consented to the admission to bail, the magistrate must order the detention of X in custody except if X has adduced evidence which satisfied the magistrate that exceptional circumstances exist which in the interests of justice permit his release: 117(6)(a) CPEA.

The specified offences in Part 1 of the Third Schedule are:

  • murder where it was committed in certain specified circumstances such as where it was premeditated;
  • rape or aggravated indecent assault where it was committed in certain specified circumstances such as multiple rape of a victim;
  • robbery where it was committed in certain specified circumstances such as where firearms were used;
  • assault or indecent assault of a child under 16 involving the infliction of grievous bodily harm;
  • kidnapping or unlawful detention involving the infliction of grievous bodily harm ;
  • contravening the following sections of CLCA: 20 (treason); 21 (concealing treason); 22 (subverting constitutional government); 23 (insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism); 24 (recruiting or training insurgents, bandits, saboteurs or terrorists); 25 (training as insurgent, bandit, saboteur or terrorist); 26 (supplying weapons to insurgents, bandits, saboteurs or terrorists); 27 (possessing weapons for insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism) or 29 (harbouring, concealing or failing to report insurgent, bandit, saboteur or terrorist);
  • An offence in Part II of the Third Schedule where the accused has previously been convicted of any offence specified in the Third Schedule or has allegedly committed such offence whilst on bail in respect of an offence in the Third Schedule.

The offences specified in Part II to the Third Schedule are:

  • treason;
  • murder in circumstances other than those specified in Part I;
  • attempted murder involving the infliction of grievous bodily harm;
  • malicious damage to property involving arson or conspiracy, incitement or attempt to commit this offence;
  • theft of a motor vehicle or conspiracy, incitement or attempt to commit this offence;
  • any offence relating to dealing in or smuggling of ammunition, firearms, explosives or armaments or the possession of an automatic or semi-automatic firearm, explosives or armaments or conspiracy, incitement or attempt to commit this offence;
  • any offence where the Attorney-General has notified the magistrate of his intention to indict the case direct to the High Court.

See Zimbabwe Criminal Defense Manual