Proof of previous convictions (Zimbabwe)

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After conviction the prosecutor will state whether the person convicted has any previous convictions. If he has, the onus is on the State to prove these. It is the responsibility of the prosecutor to produce the record of any previous convictions. The prosecutor will read out these previous convictions to X. The court will then ask if X admits these previous convictions. If X denies any or all of the previous convictions the prosecutor has the right to request a remand so that he can bring evidence to prove them: s 327 CPEA.

The onus lies with the State to prove X's previous convictions: Mc Cormick HB-56-90. As regards the type of evidence which can be produced to establish previous convictions see ss 328-329 CPEA.

Note that in a murder case the previous convictions of X must not be revealed by the State to the court until the court has made a finding on extenuating circumstances: Namatimba S-27-91.

In Mutume 1985 (2) ZLR 94 (S) the court said it will not normally attach much weight to very old convictions.

See Zimbabwe Criminal Defense Manual