BILL WATCH 8/2022
Statutory Instruments Gazetted since 1 January 2022
This bulletin lists statutory instruments [SIs] published as supplements to the Zimbabwean Government Gazette since the beginning of the year. General Notices [GNs] of special interest are also noted.
SIs and GNs listed are available on the Veritas website via the hyperlinks indicated by the word “[link]” in the appropriate entry below. They were usually uploaded to the website on the date they were gazetted or shortly thereafter. SIs generally come into legal effect on the day they are gazetted unless a different date is stated within the SI.
[Not listed are the many General Notices gazetted notify tenders and contract awards by Government Ministries, constitutional Commissions, parastatals and state-owned or controlled enterprises obliged to gazette them under the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Property Act and/or regulations made under it. These make up the vast majority of GNs gazetted nowadays.]
Statutory Instruments [SIs] and General Notices [GNs]
[grouped under headings according to subject-matter]
COVID-19 National Lockdown measures
There have been three of these SIs at roughly fortnightly intervals, all amending the current National Lockdown Order [full title the Public Health (COVID-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment) (National Lockdown) (No. 2) Order, 2020, published in SI 200/2020 [link]].
SI 12/2022 of 17th January [link] It provided for a week’s notice to be given when announcing the forthcoming general re-opening of schools.
Consolidated National Lockdown Order Veritas regularly prepares and posts on the Veritas website consolidations of the National Lockdown Order incorporating amendments to date. The latest of these consolidations is to be found here [link].
Resumption of by-elections
SI 2/2022 of 6th January [link] This was a Presidential proclamation fixing the nomination day [26th January] and polling day [26th March] for National Assembly by-elections for all 28 vacant constituency seats. The vacancies had accumulated over a period of nearly two years which began in early April 2020.
This SI was followed two days later by newspaper notices by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC] fixing the same dates for nomination day and polling day for over 100 by-elections to fill vacancies in both urban and rural local authority councils.
SI 16A/2022 of 27th January [link] This SI was a second by-election proclamation responding to ZEC’s not being able to conduct six of the nomination court sittings in compliance with a last-minute High Court order to stop them in the light of continuing litigation over the very existence of the vacancies. The proclamation stated, correctly, that this court order had itself been overturned by another High Court judge but not in time for ZEC to resuscitate the cancelled proceedings; consequently it ordered the reconvening of the nomination courts on 28th January while retaining the same polling day as before, 26th March.
Nomination courts were, therefore, held on both the 26th and 28th January.
GN 229A/2021 of 8th February [link] This is a notice by ZEC notifying the results of the nomination court sittings held on 26th and 28th January for the National Assembly by-elections. All 28 by-elections will be contested on the 26th March.
SI 273/2021 [link] of 13th December [link] caused general confusion [understandably] by the gazetting, without prior warning, of this 2021 prescribing that (1) the present type of machine-readable passport would no longer be issued and would cease to be internationally acceptable at the end of 2023; (2) instead, a new and electronically-readable “e-passport” would henceforth be issued for which there would be a fee of US$200 and an additional fee of US$20 for processing of applications by CBZ Bank. Reacting to public bewilderment, the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage followed this with two further SIs in quick succession:
SI 3/2022 of 7th January [link] repealed the offending SI 273/2021 and replaced it with new regulations referring to both machine-readable and electronically-readable passports and prescribing fees for both types – US$100 for a passport “issued on a non-emergency basis” and US$200 for an “emergency passport”. But this SI, too, was destined for early replacement.
SI 16/2022 of 21st January [link] repealed SI 3/2022 and replaced it with a new set of regulations, which envisages a situation where (1) machine-readable passports may still be applied for on or after 21st January; (2) electronically-readable passports may be applied for but there may be “no capacity to issue an electronically-readable passport at the time of any particular application”, in which case a machine-readable passport will [presumably only if the applicant so wishes] be issued; (3) the basic fees for both types of passport will be the same as before – US$100 for an “ordinary” passport, US$200 for an “emergency or express passport” and, in the case of an application for an electronically-readable passport [if available] there will be an additional fee of US$20 “to obtain a quick response (QR) code”. The SI does not explain whether this additional QR fee is optional or not and whether “ordinary” machine-readable passports will still cease to be internationally acceptable at the end of 2023.
Banking – declaration of International Financial Services Centre
SI 4/2022 of 7th January [link] is a notice by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, in terms of section 78B(2) of the Banking Act declaring the Victoria Falls Special Economic Zone to be an International Financial Services Centre [IFSC] with immediate effect. The supplementary provisions recently added to the Banking Act by section 49 of the Finance Act, 2021 [link] provide for governance of IFSCs by an IFSC Authority.
Collective bargaining agreements gazetted under the Labour Act
SI 5/2022 of 14th January [link] – setting minimum wages with effect from 1st October 2021 for the Sugarcane Sector of the Agricultural Industry.
SI 13/2022 of 21st January [link] – setting minimum wages for June. July and August 2021 for the General Engineering Section of the Engineering and Iron and Steel Industry.
SI 14/2022 of 21st January [link] – setting minimum wages with effect from 1st April 2021 for the Sugarcane Sector of the Agricultural Industry [a re-publication, with corrections, of SI 280/2021].
SI 23/2022 of 4th February [link] – setting minimum wages with effect from 25th June 2021 and 27th October 2021 for the Textile Industry.
Civil Aviation Safety Surcharge
SI 6/2022 of 14th January [link] provides for the levying of an aviation safety surcharge of 0,5% on all fees, levies and charges payable to the Civil Aviation Authority for registrations effected, licences, permits or certificates issued, services rendered or anything else done by the Authority. There is an express exemption: the surcharge will not apply to Airport Departure fees.
Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency [ZIDA]
SI 7/2022 of 14th January [link] Section 2 amends SI 160/2007, which contains the regulations inherited by ZIDA from its predecessors and date from the time when the Zimbabwe Investment Authority was in charge of investment. It updates the First Schedule by amending the existing forms with the current name and address of ZIDA. Also added to the Schedule is a new Form ZIDA 3 setting out a very detailed Project Monitoring Questionnaire. The Second Schedule specifies fees for investment licences. A brand-new set of ZIDA regulations would have been preferable.
GN 71A/2022 of 19th January is a notice by the Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services in terms of section 46 of the ZIDA Act that the Government had entered into a Public Private Partnership with Daedalus World Ltd of British Virgin Islands under which Daedalus will provide a revenue collecting service for taxes on companies that provide digital advertising, content, cloud computing, e-commerce, gambling, betting, gaming and cryptocurrency services to persons and organisations resident within Zimbabwe. The notice states that the partnership agreement was approved by Cabinet on 23rd November 2021 as required by the ZIDA Act but the approval was not mentioned in the Post-Cabinet Press Briefing [link] after this meeting released by the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services .
Revenue – customs and excise
SIs 9 [link] and 11 [link] of 17th January both amend the Customs and Excise (General) Regulations of 2001 and deal with (1) limits on warehousing of pre-owned vehicles in bonded warehouses, rebates for “immigrants” who are returning residents and rebates on donated sports kits if recommended by the Sports and Recreation Commission and the Ministries responsible for education and sport; and (2) reporting obligations in the interests of transparency and accountability by those benefiting from rebates under Part XIII of the regulations.
SI 10/2022 [link] of 17th January amends the Customs and Excise (Suspension) Regulations of 2003 for the 257th time, which prompts the comment that a re-issue is sorely needed. The SI modifies the provisions in the principal regulations about suspension of duty on motor vehicles and other goods imported by physically handicapped persons, buses imported by tour operators, and motor vehicles imported by immigrants. It also extends until the end of 2022 the existing suspension of duty on powdered milk imported by approved importers.
Revenue – VAT
SI 8/2022 of 17th January [link] – the 58th amendment to the principal regulations of 2003 [again, a reissue is needed]. The amendments, which will end on 31st July 2022, provide for exemptions from VAT on goods and services provided to domestic tourists in Zimbabwe – provision of accommodation heads the list. Other exempted services, supplied to both visitors sleeping over in the places visited and those not doing so, include food and beverages, car rental, safaris, boat trips, etc.; the list in the SI is fairly extensive.
Radiation protection – fees payable to Radiation Protection Authority
SIs 19/2022 [link] and 20/2022 [link] amend the Radiation Protection (Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials) Regulations and the Radiation Protection (Safety and Security of Radiation Sources) Regulations, respectively. The SIs are made under the Radiation Protection Act by the President, who has reserved the administration of the Act to himself. Both SIs replace schedules of fees payable to the Radio Protection Authority for licences issued and services required the regulations. The fees which replace the fees prescribed in January 2021, are denominated in US dollars, but footnotes to the fees schedules note, that the fees “may be payable” in local currency.
Local authority by-laws