Back to Index
Violence Bill, 2006 (H.B. 9, 2006)
Gazetted Friday 30 June, 2006
note: This Bill has been replaced by HB
the index of articles on the debate around the Domestic Violence
97 version (95KB)
PDF version (94KB)
If you do not have the free Acrobat reader
on your computer, download it from the Adobe website by clicking
Violence Bill, 2006
This Bill will
provide for protection and relief to victims of domestic violence.
It was discovered after worldwide research that domestic violence
is a serious problem. The United Nations called for global action
to end violence against women, in particular hence, the Convention
on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
(CEDAW) which Zimbabwe have signed and ratified. The SADC heads
of State or Government on 14 September, 1998 in Mauritius signed
an addendum to the 1997 Declaration on Gender and Development on
"The Prevention and Eradication of Violence against Women and
Children" and resolved to adopt measures aimed at enacting
laws making various forms of violence against women, clearly defined
crimes with appropriate penalties in order to prevent and eradicate
It is the purpose
of this Bill to afford the victims of domestic violence the maximum
protection from domestic violence that the law can provide and to
introduce measures which seek to ensure that the relevant organs
of the State give full effect to the provisions of this Bill.
clauses of the Bill provide as follows:
This clause sets out the Bill's short title.
This clause will define terms that are used elsewhere in the Bill.
This clause seeks to outline the meaning and scope of domestic violence.
Under the current common law offences, there is no offence called
domestic violence. What has been happening is that once any form
of domestic violence is reported to the police, it would be slotted
into any of the common law offences of assault common; assault with
intent to do grievous bodily harm; indecent assault and many others.
This therefore, tended to limit the scope of domestic violence since
any other act of domestic violence that failed to fit in the existing
common law offences would not be considered as an offence. The phenomenon
of domestic violence has for long been conceived primarily as a
private family affair to be resolved silently within the four walls
of the home. Whereas the privacy of the home and the centrality
attributed to intimate relations are valued, privacy and intimacy
often provide the opportunity for violence and the justification
for non-interference. Thus, it is the purpose of the clause to outline
all acts of domestic violence which should be considered as punishable
under the law.
clause seeks to widen the scope of domestic violence to include
physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional, verbal and psychological
abuse, economic abuse, intimidation, harassment, stalking, damage
to property, entry into complainant's place without consent where
the parties do not share the same residence, depriving or hindering
the complainant from access to his or her place of residence, depriving
the complainant of a reasonable share of the use of the facilities
associated with his or her place of residence. Also considered as
domestic violence is the abuse derived from cultural or customary
rites or practices that discriminate or degrade women such as forced
virginity testing, female genital mutilation, pledging of women
and girls for purposes of appeasing spirits, abduction, child marriages,
forced marriages, forced wife inheritance and other such practices.
The abuse perpetrated on the complainant by virtue of his or her
age, physical or mental incapacity is also considered as domestic
violence under this clause.
goes further to define some of the forms of domestic violence outlined
above for the avoidance of doubt.
This clause makes it mandatory for every police station to have
a section to deal with domestic violence matters and also places
a legal duty on the police to assist a complainant of domestic violence.
This clause makes it incumbent on the police to assist the complainant
to obtain shelter, medical treatment and in any other way. The police
are also supposed to advise the complainant of his or her right
to seek relief under this Act or to lodge a criminal complaint.
This clause also gives the complainant the right to choose to make
a report to or have a statement recorded by a police officer of
the same sex as him or her. Every police station is obliged to have
a domestic violence section to be manned by officers trained to
handle domestic violence cases where it is possible.
This clause gives the police the power to arrest forthwith, without
a warrant any person reasonably suspected to have committed or who
is threatening to commit an act of domestic violence on a complainant.
The clause also outlines the factors to be considered by a police
officer before effecting the arrest without a warrant. Any person
so arrested is to be brought before a magistrate within forty-eight
6 and 7
These clauses provide for the making of an application for a protection
order and the determination thereof. The clause give the locus
standi to make an application for a protection order to a wide
variety of persons besides the complainant and these include a person
acting with the consent of the complainant, a person having care
or custody of the complainant and also a complainant's representative.
The complainant's representative can make an application only with
the leave of the court and does not need the complainant's consent.
This therefore ensures that most if not all cases of domestic violence
will be brought to the courts. An application for a protection order
can be brought to court outside the ordinary court hours and on
any day. Such an application has to be dealt with as soon as possible
and the court can call for evidence either orally or by affidavit.
8, 9 and 10
Clauses 8, 9 and 10 provide for the issuing of an interim protection
order, a final protection order and the contents thereof respectively.
Whilst a protection order is issued after the court has had the
opportunity to consider evidence, an interim protection order may
be issued on receipt of the application once the court is satisfied
that prima facie the respondent has committed, is committing or
is threatening to commit an act of domestic violence and it is necessary
to immediately issue an order to protect the complainant from serious
harm, discomfort or inconvenience as a result of such domestic violence.
court issues an interim protection order or final protection order
it shall also issue a warrant for the arrest of the respondent which
shall only be suspended when the respondent complies with the order.
The issue of an interim protection order and a protection order
shall not in any way bar criminal proceedings against a person perpetrating
domestic violence. Clause 10 provides for the contents of both an
interim protection order and a protection order which basically
are prohibitions on the respondent from committing or enlisting
the help of another person to commit any act of domestic violence.
11 and 12
Clause 11 provides for the circumstances under which an interim
protection order or protection order may be revoked, varied or extended
by the court on application by either the complainant, complainant's
representative or the respondent. Clause 12 provides for the issuing
of further copies of protection orders and warrants of arrest in
the event of the original ones getting lost, destroyed or utilised
in effecting the arrest of the respondent.
This clause provides for the enforcement of both the interim protection
order and protection order and the circumstances under which any
police officer may arrest a respondent for non-compliance with either
14 and 15
Clause 14 provides for the appointment of anti-domestic violence
counsellors and also spells out their functions. Clause 15 provides
for the establishment of an Anti-Domestic Violence Committee whose
members shall be representatives of various government ministries
and departments and those private voluntary organisations specialising
in issues related to domestic violence, children's rights and women's
rights. The Committee shall be headed by a Chairperson and a deputy
Chairperson both must be persons qualified or experienced in prescribed
disciplines. The clause also sets out the functions of the Committee
which are basically to keep under constant review the problem of
domestic violence and to monitor the application and enforcement
of this Act. The Committee is given power under this clause to appoint
one or more sub-committees to operate in provinces or districts
throughout the country.
This clause criminalises all acts of domestic violence as defined
in section 3 with the exception of emotional, verbal and psychological
abuse and economic abuse and stipulates the relevant penalty. It
also makes it an offence for any person to make any false statement
in an application or affidavit made in terms of this Act and stipulates
the relevant penalty. It also makes it an aggravating factor to
commit any other criminal offence within a domestic set-up.
This clause gives the Minister authority to make regulations on
anything necessary for giving effect to this Act.
Violence Bill, 2006
title and date of commencement.
3. Meaning of domestic violence and its scope.
DUTIES OF POLICE AND POWERS OF ARREST IN RESPECT OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
4. Duties of police officers in relation to domestic violence.
5. Arrest by police officer without warrant.
6. Application for protection order.
7. Determination of application.
8. Issue of interim protection order.
9. Issue of protection order.
10. Contents of protection order.
11. Application for revocation, variation or extension of protection
12. Issue of further copies of orders and warrants of arrest.
13. Enforcement of protection orders.
ANTI-DOMESTIC VIOLENCE COUNSELLORS AND ANTI-DOMESTIC VIOLENCE COMMITTEE
14. Anti-domestic violence counsellors.
15. Anti-Domestic Violence Committee.
make provision for the protection of and relief to victims of domestic
violence and to provide for matters connected with or incidental
to the foregoing.
by the President and the Parliament of Zimbabwe.
title and date of commencement
(1) This Act
may be cited as the Domestic Violence Act, 2006.
(2) This Act shall come into operation on a date to be fixed by
the President by statutory instrument:
the President may fix different dates of commencement for different
provisions of this Act.
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.