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Chapter 19:05

Forest Act

Acts 37/1949, 28/1953, 3/1954, 12/1954, 43/1954, 14/1955, 19/1959, 8/1960, 26/1961, 14/1962 (s. 2), 24/1962 (s. 2), 28/1963, 47/1963 (s. 62), 19/1965, 53/1967, 75/1971, 12/1972, 39/1973 (s. 53), 46/1973 (s. 144), 54/1973 (s. 31)

9/1975, 42/1976 (s. 8), 48/1976, 22/1977, 10/1978, 5/1979, 40/1981, 20/1982, 31/1983, 8/1988, 17/1989, 18/1989 (s.

16), 29/1990 11/1991(s. 13), 8/1999, 22/2001 (s. 4), 13/2002 (s. 142); R.G.N.s 153/1963, 214/1964, 216/1970,

217/1970, 313/1970, 365/1970, 1181/1971, 923/1972; S.I.’s 468/1979, 675/1979, 662/1980, 193/1981, 489/1981, 307/1982, 364/1982, 530/1982, 669/1982, 255/1983, 455/1983, 635/1983, 647/1983, 80/1984, 117/1984, 362/1984, 86/1985, 44/1986, 283/1986, 322/1986, 156/1987, 296/1987, 88/1988, 115/1988, 206/1990.




  1. Short title.
  2. Minister may appoint forest officers.



  1. Establishment of Forestry Commission.
  2. Constitution of Commission and terms of office of commissioners.
  3. Disqualifications for commissioner.

6A.   Commissioners to disclose certain connections and interests.

  1. Powers of President to declare office of commissioner vacant.
  2. Duties of Commission.
  3. Recommendation as to declaration of demarcated forest.
  4. Recommendation as to improper use of Forest Estate.
  5. Powers of Commission.
  6. Commission to be subject to direction of Minister.
  7. Transfer to Commission of undertaking of Forestry Branch.
  8. Transfer of certain land to Commission.
  9. Control and management of demarcated forests.
  10. Property of Commission.
  11. Lease of demarcated forest.
  12. Financial year and programme of Commission.
  13. Commission to open banking account.
  14. Advances and grants to and borrowing powers of Commission.
  15. Forestry Reserve Fund.
  16. Interest on advances.
  17. Exemption from income tax.
  18. Accounts and audit.

25A  Reports of Commission.

  1. Appointment and functions of chief executive officer of Commission.

27A. Other staff of Commission

  1. Pension contributions to be deducted.
  2. Commission to contribute to Consolidated Revenue Fund.
  3. Disability benefits.
  4. Suspension, reduction or forfeiture of pension or gratuity.
  5. Deduction from pension, gratuity, refund of contributions or other benefit.



  1. Forest Estate.
  2. Forest land



  1. Demarcated forest.
  2. Minister may amend Third Schedule.
  3. Owner of private land may apply for protection of forest.
  4. Reservation of trees or forest produce.
  5. Protection of forest or trees from cutting.
  6. Expropriation of land for forest and certain other purposes.
  7. Certain acts prohibited.
  8. Acts excepted from section 41.



  1. Interpretation in Part V.
  2. Exercise of rights to timber under mining law restricted.
  3. No miner may cut timber without permit.
  4. Establishment and constitution of Mining Timber Permit Board.
  5. Meetings of Board.
  6. Minutes of proceedings to be kept by Board.
  7. Applications for permits.
  8. Consideration of applications and issue of permits by Board.
  9. Powers of Board.
  10. Period of validity of permits.
  11. Appeals from decisions of Board.



  1. Interpretation in Part VI.
  2. Owner or occupier of private land must give notice of intention to dispose of indigenous timber.
  3. Minister may give orders restricting cutting or removal of indigenous timber.
  4. Powers of entry and investigation of conservation committees and Natural Resources Board.
  5. Conservation committee may temporarily restrict cutting or removal of indigenous timber.
  6. Minister may give orders in relation to cutting of timber.
  7. Creation of charge on land for costs of works for re-forestation.
  8. Returns relating to plantations.
  9. Minister may prohibit the planting of specified trees.
  10. Regulations for control of diseases and pests.



  1. Marking of timber and registration of marks.
  2. Import, export, transport, sale, manufacture and grading of trees and timber and use of trade names in respect thereof.
  3. Power of Commission to make by-laws.



  1. Notice of intention to burn standing vegetation to be given to occupiers of adjoining land.
  2. Provision and maintenance of fireguards on common boundaries.
  3. Orders in relation to fireguards.
  4. Fires kindled on land of another to be controlled and extinguished.
  5. Saving of counterfiring.
  6. Liability of servant acting under direction of employer.
  7. Saving of rights to recover damages.
  8. Inquiry into damage sustained.
  9. Procedure in regard to extinguishing fire.



  1. Plantation on Mozambique border.
  2. Removal of trees on Mozambique border.



  1. Major offences.
  2. Minor offences.
  3. Illegal entry of plantations.
  4. Offences relating to smoking or negligent use of matches.
  5. Miscellaneous offences.
  6. [Repealed].
  7. Licences and permits may be cancelled.



  1. Wrongful possession of forest produce.
  2. Special powers of various officers.
  3. Court may make orders as to restitution and damages.
  4. Powers of Minister.


First Schedule: Provisions Applicable to Persons Employed by Commission other than Persons Seconded from Public Service.

Second Schedule: Powers of Commission. Third Schedule: Forest Estate.

AN ACT to establish a commission for the administration, control and management of State forests, to provide for the transfer of certain assets belonging to the Government to the said Commission; to provide for the setting aside of State forests and for the protection of private forests, trees and forest produce; to establish a Mining Timber Permit Board and to control the cutting and taking of timber for mining purposes; to provide for the conservation of timber resources and the compulsory afforestation of private land; to regulate and control trade in forest produce including the use of trade names and marks in connection with forest produce; to regulate and control the burning of vegetation; and for other purposes connected with the foregoing.

[Date of commencement: 9th December, 1949.]



1    Short title

This Act may be cited as the Forest Act [Chapter 19:05].

                       2    Interpretation

In this Act—

“appointed day” means the 2nd February, 1979;

“chief executive” means the person appointed in terms of subsection (1) of section twenty-seven to be the Commission’s chief executive officer;

[Definition inserted by s. 2 of Act 8 of 1999.]

“Commission” means the Forestry Commission established under this Act;

“commissioner” means a person who is appointed as a member of the Commission;

“demarcated forest” means an area of land which has been declared to be a demarcated forest in terms of this Act;

“fireguard” means a strip of land, whether under trees or not, which has been cleared of inflammable matter; “Forest Estate” means the Forest Estate specified in section thirty-three;

“forest land” means forest land specified in section thirty-four;

“forest officer” means any person appointed by the Minister as a forest officer for the purposes of this Act;

“forest produce”, in relation to—

  • a demarcated forest, means anything which is grown or is found naturally therein, including any wild or domesticated animal, but excluding any mineral or mineral substance as defined in the Mines and Minerals Act [Chapter 21:05];
  • an undemarcated forest, means all trees, timber, palms and bamboos therein; but excludes anything specified by the Minister, by statutory instrument, for the purposes of this definition;

“local authority” means a municipal council, town council, local board or rural district council;

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

“occupier”, in relation to any land, means the person exercising general control over the land and, for the purposes of section sixty-seven, includes any person authorized by such an occupier to receive notice given in terms of that section;

“plantation” means any artificially established tree, as ordinarily understood, or forest of such trees, and includes any natural extension of such tree or trees;

“private forest” means a forest, plantation or tree situate on land not owned by the State;

“private land” means any land the ownership of which has by law, grant or title deed become vested in any person other than the President, and includes any land held by any person under any agreement whereby such person is entitled to obtain from the President title thereto on the fulfilment by him of the conditions prescribed by such agreement but does not include any Communal Land;

“protected private forest” means any area of land which is protected under a notice issued in terms of subsection

(3) of section thirty-seven;

“reserved tree” means a tree which has been reserved by a notice in terms of section thirty-eight;

“Rhodes Estates” means the Rhodes Estates described in the Rhodes Estates Act [Chapter 20:17];

“State forest” means any demarcated forest or any undemarcated forest;

“timber” means all wood contained in trees, whether standing, fallen or felled, and all wood, whether produced in or imported into Zimbabwe and whether sawn, split, hewn or planed or otherwise fashioned or processed;

“tree” means the whole or any part of any tree as ordinarily understood, or of any shrub, bush, seedling, transplant, sapling, re-shoot, under-bush, undergrowth or regrowth;

“trust land” means any land, other than Communal Land, held in trust by the President or a statutory body or by a person, whether solely or jointly with others, by virtue of his being a holder of some office in a statutory body;

“undemarcated forest” means any area of State land which is not a demarcated forest, but does not include—

  • any State land held by any person under any agreement whereby such person is entitled to obtain from the President title thereto on the fulfilment by him of the conditions prescribed by such agreement;
  • the Parks and Wild Life Estate; or
  • Communal Land;

“vegetation” includes any tree, bush, shrub, brushwood, undergrowth or grass and any other vegetation.

                       3    Minister may appoint forest officers

The Minister may appoint any person in the employment of the Commission or in the Public Service as a forest officer for the purposes of this Act.



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