Monday, 7 March 2022


The Extradition Treaty of criminal suspects between Zimbabwe and Botswana is now in force after Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe gazetted the text recently as the two countries’ bilateral relations continue to grow.

Under the Treaty, each country commits to extradite to the other those found in its territory and wanted by the other country for trial on criminal charges or to serve their sentence if they had already been tried and convicted.

This come as the two countries’ bilateral relations attained new heights after President Mnangagwa and his Botswana counterpart, President Mokgweetsi Masisi met a fortnight ago in Victoria Falls and superintended the signing of five additional Memoranda of Understanding, cementing fraternal relations on a wide range of socio-economic issues.

This took to 25, the MoUs that the two sisterly countries have signed since the first session of the Bi-National Commission in February 2019, with President Mnangagwa reckoning that there had never been a time in the past 42 years that Zimbabwe and Botswana’s relations had been better.

The Extradition Treaty between the two countries was entered into on February 28, 2019, and came into effect last week after Minister Kazembe gazetted it through a Statutory Instrument.

Under the Treaty, extraditable offences are those that are punishable under the laws of both countries by imprisonment or other deprivation of liberty for a minimum period of at least one year, or by a more severe penalty.

“Where the request for extradition relates to a person who is wanted for the enforcement of a sentence of imprisonment or other deprivation of liberty imposed for such an offence, extradition shall be granted only if a period of at least six months of such sentence remains to be served,” reads the Statutory Instrument.

In determining whether an offence is punishable under the laws of both parties, it shall not matter whether either country places the accused’s conduct within the different category or legal terminology.

 However, both countries have the right to refuse to grant extradition if the offence for which extradition is requested is regarded by the other as an offence of a political nature.

“If the requested party has substantial grounds for believing that the request for extradition has been made for the purpose of prosecuting or punishing a person on account of that person’s race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, political opinions, sex or status, or that that person’s position may be prejudiced for any of those reasons,” reads the legal instrument.

Suspected criminals may also not be extradited if the offence for which extradition is requested is an offence under military law, which is not also an offence under ordinary criminal law, and if there has been final judgment rendered against the person in the requested party in respect of the offence for which the person’s extradition is requested.

Other reasons for refusing to grant extradition is if the accused person would be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment or if that person has not received or would not receive the minimum guarantees in criminal proceedings, as contained in the laws of the requested party. Herald


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