Practice Relating to the Prohibition of Certain Types of Landmines
Zimbabwe’s Anti-Personnel Mines (Prohibition) Act (2000) provides:
(1) Subject to subsection (2), any person who
(a) develops, manufactures, produces, acquires or possesses an anti-personnel mine; or
(b) transfers, directly or indirectly, an anti-personnel mine to another person; or
(c) places an anti-personnel mine under, on or near the ground or other surface area
(i) intending to cause the mine to explode by the presence, proximity or contact of a person; or
(ii) in circumstances in which there is a reasonable possibility that the mine will explode by the presence, proximity or contact of a person; or
(d) in any way, assists, encourages or induces another person to engage in any activity prohibited to a State party to the Convention;
shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding ten years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
Zimbabwe was one of nine African States that attended the International Strategy Conference “Towards a Global Ban on Anti-personnel Mines” held in Ottawa, Canada, in October 1996. Attended by 50 countries as full participants and 24 observer States, along with NGOs and international agencies, that historic meeting launched what became known as the “Ottawa Process”.
On 10 December 1996, along with 155 other States, Zimbabwe voted in favour of the UN General Assembly resolution calling for an international agreement to ban anti-personnel landmines. In 1997, as OAU chair, Zimbabwe helped steer the adoption of Resolution DOC CM/2009 (LXVI), which eventually coalesced the African position on a ban.
The Zimbabwean Defence Minister, Moven Mahachi, announced on 15 May 1997 that Zimbabwe had unilaterally banned anti-personnel landmines. He stated:
The Zimbabwean Armed Forces have never and will never use antipersonnel mines, be they “smart” or “dumb” in the future. Zimbabwe has not manufactured antipersonnel mines since 1980 and undertakes never to try and acquire the technology or capacity otherwise to do so in the future. The bulk of stocks of antipersonnel mines held presently will be destroyed within the next five years. Only a few will be retained for training purposes and public awareness campaigns, under the strict and centralized control of a specialized section of the Ministry of Defence. Zimbabwe will not allow the transfer of antipersonnel mines into, over or above its territory by any party and will itself not allow the transfer of mines within its territorial borders except for purposes of their destruction, for instructional purposes or in relation to demining operations.