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Chapter 11:18

Chemical Weapons (Prohibition)Act

Acts 9/1998, 22/2001.

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

  1. Short title.
  2. Application of Act.
  3. Convention to have force of law in Zimbabwe.
  4. National Authority.
  5. Chemical weapons.
  6. Riot control agents.
  7. Toxic chemicals and precursors.
  8. Records and reports.

SCHEDULE

Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction

 

 

1    Short title

This Act may be cited as the Chemical Weapons (Prohibition) Act [Chapter 11:18].

                       2    Interpretation

  • In this Act—

“Convention” means the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction signed at Paris, on the 13th January, 1993, including the Annexes thereto, the text of which is set out in the Schedule;

“facility agreement” means a facility agreement referred to in Part III of the Verification Annex;

“inspector” means a person designated by the Technical Secretariat in terms of the Verification Annex to carry out an inspection or visit in accordance with the Convention;

“Minister” means the Minister of Defence or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;

“observer” means an observer as defined in Part I of the Verification Annex;

“representative” means—

  • a person appointed by the Secretary; or
  • a specified police officer; who accompanies or assists an inspector in carrying out his duties.

“Secretary” means the Secretary of the Ministry for which the Minister is responsible.

“specified police officer" means any member of the Police Force of or above the rank of inspector.

“Technical Secretariat” means the Technical Secretariat established in terms of article VII of the Convention;

“Verification Annex” means the Annex on Implementation and Verification in the Convention;

  • Any expression to which a meaning has been assigned in the Convention shall bear the same meaning in this Act.
  • Application of Act

This Act shall bind the State.

  • Convention to have force of law in Zimbabwe

The Convention shall have the force of law in Zimbabwe.

                       5    National Authority

The functions of the National Authority under the Convention shall be discharged in Zimbabwe by the

Secretary.

6    Chemical weapons Any person who—

  • develops, produces, acquires, stockpiles, or retains a chemical weapon; or
  • transfers, directly or indirectly, a chemical weapon to another person; or
  • uses a chemical weapon; or
  • engages in any military preparations to use a chemical weapon; or
  • in any way assists, encourages or induces any person to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party under the Convention; shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level fourteen or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding ten years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

[Section amended by Act 22 of 2001]

                       7    Riot control agents

Any person who uses riot control agents as a method of warfare shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of level twelve or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

[Section amended by Act 22 of 2001]

                       8    Toxic chemicals and precursors

  • Except as may be prescribed no person shall produce, use, acquire or possess a toxic chemical or precursor listed in Schedule 1 of the Schedules of Chemicals set out in the Annex on Chemicals in the Convention.
  • Subject to any enactment relating to the import or export of goods, no person shall import or export any toxic chemical or precursor listed in Schedules 1, 2 and 3 of the Annex on Chemicals in the Convention without the authority of the Minister.
  • The Minister, in giving authority in terms of subsection (2), shall have regard to the restrictions set out in Parts VI to VIII of the Verification Annex to the Convention.
  • Any person who contravenes subsection (1) or (2) shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level ten or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

[Section amended by Act 22 of 2001]

                       9    Records and reports

(1) Every person who in accordance with this Act—

  • produces, uses, acquires or possesses a toxic chemical;
  • produces, possesses, consumes, exports or imports a toxic chemical or precursor listed in Schedule 2 of the Schedules of Chemicals set out in the Annex on Chemicals in the Convention; or
  • produces, exports or imports a toxic chemical or precursor listed in Schedule 3 of the Schedules of

Chemicals set out in the Annex on Chemicals in the Convention: or

  • produces a discrete organic chemical; or
  • holds a riot control agent for riot control purposes; shall—
    • submit reports thereon to the Secretary in such form and manner and at such intervals as may be prescribed;
    • keep and maintain at his place of business, or at such other place as the Secretary may appoint, such documents and records relating to the chemicals, the nature of business and the purpose to which the chemicals are put as may be prescribed.

(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (i) shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level seven or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

[Section amended by Act 22 of 2001]

10 Inspections

(1) Subject to this section an inspector shall, for the purposes of enforcing the Convention, have power at all reasonable times to enter any place in Zimbabwe—

  • where chemical weapons toxic chemicals or precursors are on reasonable grounds believed or suspected to be developed, produced or kept;
  • in respect of which a report has been submitted in terms of section eight; or
  • that is subject to an on-site challenge inspection referred to in paragraph 8 of article IX of the Convention; or
  • in respect of which an investigation under paragraph 9 of article X of the Convention has been initiated; to inspect the place in a manner consistent with the Convention and any facility agreement applicable to the place.
  • Subsection (1) shall not be construed as authorizing the inspector or any other person to enter or search any premises without the consent of the owner or occupier of the premises unless there are reasonable grounds for believing that such entry or search is necessary for the prevention, investigation or detection of an offence under this Act.
  • Where appropriate, an inspector may install, use and maintain in respect of any place, monitoring instruments, systems and seals in a manner consistent with the Convention or any facility agreement applicable to the place.
  • While carrying out a challenge inspection, an inspector may be accompanied by an observer for the purposes of giving effect to paragraph 12 of article IX of the Convention.
  • In order to facilitate inspections, an inspector may be accompanied by a representative.
  • All books, records and documents required to be kept by any person under this Act shall be open to inspection by an inspector and the persons referred to in subsection (5).
  • An inspector may seize and remove—
  • any chemical weapon, toxic chemical or precursor which he has reasonable grounds to suspect is being developed, produced or stockpiled in contravention of this Act; and
  • any book, account or document relating to any chemical weapon, toxic chemical or precursor referred to in paragraph (a):

Provided that nothing seized in terms of this subsection shall be retained for longer than is necessary for the purposes of any trial or investigation in relation thereto.

  • The Secretary shall cause every inspector and every person authorized to accompany the inspector, to be issued with a badge of office or card or other form of identity identifying the person by name and indicating the person’s status and authority to conduct inspections.
  • Every inspector and every person authorized to accompany an inspector shall, whilst on duty, wear the badge of office or carry the card or other form of identity as the case may be, issued to him in terms of subsection

(7).

  • The Minister may, by notice in writing, issue directions to any person for the purpose of facilitating an inspection under the Convention.
  • If any person wilfully delays or obstructs an inspector in the exercise of his functions and powers under this Act, or refuses to allow any sample to be taken or any devices to be installed, or fails without reasonable excuse to give information which he is duly required under this section to give, he shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level six or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

[Section amended by Act 22 of 2001]

11 Regulations

  • The Minister may by regulation provide for all matters which by this Act are required or are permitted to be prescribed or which, in his opinion, are necessary or convenient to be provided for in order to carry out or give effect to this Act and the Convention.
  • Regulations in terms of subsection (1) may provide for—
  • conditions under which toxic chemicals or precursors listed in Schedule 1 in the Annex on Chemicals in the Convention may be produced, used, acquired or possessed.
  • procedures to be followed by representatives in exercising their functions under this Act.

(3) Regulations in terms of subsection (1) may provide for penalties for any contravention thereof, but no such penalty shall exceed a fine of level six or imprisonment for a period exceeding one year.

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