Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act
- Commenced on 7 May 1971
- [This is the version of this document at 31 December 2016 and includes any amendments published up to 31 December 2017.]
- [Note: This version of the Act was revised and consolidated by the Law Development Commission of Zimbabwe]
Part I – Preliminary
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act [Chapter 2:08].
Part II – Privileges, immunities and powers generally
3. Privileges, immunities and powers generallyParliament and members and officers of Parliament shall hold, exercise and enjoy—
4. Privileges, immunities and powers to be judicially noticedThe privileges, immunities and powers of Parliament and members and officers of Parliament shall be part of the general and public law and it shall not be necessary to plead them but they shall be judicially noticed in all courts.
Part III – Freedom of speech and debate or proceedings and other privileges and immunities
5. Freedom of speech and debate
6. Stay of proceedings in cases of privilege
7. Exemption from attendance at court
8. Exemption from liability for acts authorized by ParliamentNo person who acts reasonably and in good faith and without culpable ignorance or negligence shall be liable in damages or otherwise for anything done under the authority of Parliament and within its legal powers or under any warrant issued by virtue of those powers.
Part IV – Attendance before parliament and evidence before parliament and elsewhere
9. Attendance before Parliament and evidenceParliament or a committee—
10. SummonsesA summons to attend before Parliament or a committee shall—
11. Witness expensesA witness in or before Parliament or a committee, whether or not he is summoned in terms of section ten, shall, subject to the Standing Orders, be paid or tendered such sums in respect of the expenses of his attendance as are fixed by the Speaker.
12. Examination of witnesses
13. Stay of proceedings in cases against witnesses
14. Evidence of parliamentary proceedings, etc., not to be given elsewhere without leaveNo member, officer of Parliament or person employed in connection with the recording of evidence given in or before Parliament or a committee shall give evidence elsewhere of—
15. Admissibility of journals as evidenceA copy of the journals printed or purporting to be printed by order of Parliament shall be admitted as evidence of such journals in all courts and other places without proof being given that the copy was so printed.
Part V – Contempts which are also offences at law
16. Jurisdiction of Parliament
17. Member not to vote on matters in which he has a direct pecuniary interest
18. Prohibition against fees, etc., for promoting or opposing proceedings in Parliament
19. False evidence before Parliament
20. Penalty for printing or tendering in evidence reports, etc., falsely purporting to be printed under parliamentary authorityAny person who—
21. Certain other contempts to be offencesAny person who commits any act, matter or thing specified in the Schedule shall be guilty of an offence and liable—
22. Prosecutions by Prosecutor-General
Part VI – Warrants and arrests
23. Warrants for arrest and imprisonmentSubject to section 23A, the Speaker may issue a warrant for the arrest and imprisonment of any person who—
23A. Judicial authority for issuance of warrants by SpeakerWhere Parliament sitting as a court has imposed any fine for the commission of an offence under Part V, and the offender has not paid the fine in full within the period stipulated by Parliament or, if the period is not so stipulated, within twenty-one days of the imposition of the fine, the Clerk or any officer of Parliament authonsed by the Clerk may forthwith transmit to the clerk or registrar of any court having competent jurisdiction to impose the fine a document signed by the Speaker setting out the particulars of the offender, the offence, the fine and the custodial sentence imposed by Parliament in the event of the fine not being paid, whereupon—
24. Form of warrants
25. Arrests without warrantAny person who creates or joins in any disturbance in or within the vicinity of Parliament whilst Parliament is actually sitting may be arrested without warrant on the verbal order of the Speaker and kept in the custody of an officer of Parliament or a police officer until a warrant is issued for his detention in prison.
26. Execution of warrants, etc
27. Powers in relation to execution of warrants and ordersSubsection (2) of section 34, sections 35, 36, 37, 39 and 40, subsections (1), (2) and (4) of section 41 and sections 43, 44, 45 and 46 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act [Chapter 9:07] shall apply, mutatis mutandis, in relation to the execution of any warrant or order referred to in subsection (1) of section twenty-six as if any reference to a peace officer in those sections included a reference to an officer of Parliament charged with aiding and assisting in the execution of the warrant or order.
Part VII – General
28. Protection in regard to parliamentary publications
29. Protection in regard to publication of extracts from parliamentary publicationsIf, in any proceedings instituted for or on account of or in respect of the publication of an extract from or abstract of any report, paper, minutes or minutes of proceedings such as are referred to in section twenty-eight, the court is satisfied that the extract or abstract was published bona fide and without malice, judgment shall be entered for the person against whom the proceedings are instituted.
30. Unqualified person sitting or votingAny person who sits or votes in Parliament knowing or having reasonable grounds for knowing that he is not entitled to do so shall be liable to a penalty, recoverable by civil action in a competent court by the Minister responsible for finance, of forty dollars for each day on which he sits or votes.
31. Penalties and fines to be paid into Consolidated Revenue FundAny penalty referred to in section thirty or any fine imposed by Parliament for contempt shall be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
32. Administrative penalty of imprisonment for contempt, etc
33. Control of accounts and appropriations of ParliamentThe control of the accounts and expenses of Parliament and of the appropriations of moneys for the service of Parliament shall be vested in the Speaker, and the receipts of the Speaker relating to all matters affecting the services of Parliament shall, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any other law, be valid in all respect.
History of this document
07 May 1971