BILL WATCH 41/2020
[28th June 2020]
Covid-19 Lock-down Order : New Amendments
On Friday SI 153 of 2020 was published in the Gazette, making some fairly minor amendments to the Covid-19 Lock-down Order (SI 83 of 2020). It can be accessed on the Veritas website [link], as can a consolidated version of the Lock-down Order incorporating the latest amendments [link].
Amendments Made by SI 153 of 2020
Specification of courts as essential service
The operations of courts have been specified as an essential service, permitting the courts to operate despite the lock-down. The specification was not very well thought out however because it prohibited all evictions or judicial sales in execution from taking place while the lock-down remained in force. Hence there was no way of enforcing judgments and orders granted by the courts in civil cases.
The new amendment corrects this mistake. Evictions and sales in execution can now take place, except for evictions of tenants and mortgagees who are protected by the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) (Deferral of Rent and Mortgage Payments During National Lockdown) Regulations, 2020 (SI 96/2020) [link].
Licensed investors permitted to enter Zimbabwe
Section 8 of the Lock-down Order empowers the Minister of Home Affairs to close all ports of entry into Zimbabwe to goods and persons, except for those listed in the section.
The new amendment adds an exception allowing entry to people who hold investment licences issued by the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency. These people will, however, be detained, isolated or quarantined as if they were returning citizens or residents.