Special Provisions for Offenses in Ninth Schedule (Zimbabwe)

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Defence counsel should be aware of the fact that there are special provisions for prolonged detention of persons who are charged with offences in the Ninth Schedule of CPEA. There apply both to persons arrested with warrant and those arrested without warrant.

There are special provisions in connection with charges under the Ninth Schedule. If the charge is for an offence in paragraph 10 of the Ninth Schedule and the judicial officer is satisfied that there is a reasonable suspicion that he has committed the offence, he must order the continued detention of that person for a period of 21 days: s 34(4)(a) CPEA (with warrant) and s 32(3a) CPEA (without warrant)

If the charge is for any offence in the Ninth Schedule, the Attorney-General may produce a certificate that the offence in question involves significant national interest of Zimbabwe and further detention for a period up to 21 days is necessary because of the complexity of the case, and/or the difficulty of obtaining evidence in relation to the offence, and/or the likelihood of X concealing or destroying evidence relating to the offence. Where such a certificate is produced and the judicial officer is satisfied that there is a reasonable suspicion that X committed the offence, he must order the continued detention of X for a period of 21 days or the lesser period specified in the Attorney-General's certificate: s 34(4)(b) CPEA (with warrant) and s 32(3a) and (3b) (without warrant). However, with arrest without warrant there are certain requirements in addition to the Attorney-General's certificate. The arresting officer must be an officer of or above the rank of assistant inspector at the time of the arrest and where the arrest was disclosed through an anonymous complaint, there must be a copy of the recorded complaint must be laid before the judicial officer.

No court may admit to bail any person detained for 21 days under the provisions above: 34(5) CPEA and s 32(3c) CPEA.

Where X is detained for 21 days under these provisions, the arresting officer must make period reports at intervals of not more than 48 hours to the Attorney-General on the progress of the investigations. If the Attorney-General believes on the basis of such a report that X's detention is not longer justified, he may order the immediate and unconditional release of the person: 34(5) and 32(3c) CPEA.

Within 48 hours of the expiry of the 21 day detention period the detaining authority may obtain an order or warrant for further detention of such person pending the outcome of their criminal investigations. However, X will still have the right to apply for bail: s 34(6) and s 32(3d) CPEA.


See Zimbabwe Criminal Defense Manual