via Life sentence for sea piracy – DailyNews Live by Lloyd Mbiba 13 JANUARY 2014
President Robert Mugabe has invoked the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) to amend the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act which will see life imprisonment for sea piracy.
The criminalisation of acts of piracy committed in the high seas by Zimbabwe relates to one in which the country is obliged to address.
The new Statutory Instrument 3 of 2014 makes an amendment to the Criminal Law (Hijacking and other Crimes Involving Aircraft) by inserting the sea piracy clause.
Section 154 (A) of the Criminal Law reads that “Any person who in relation to a ship travelling at sea unlawfully boards the ship without the master’s consent and with intent to commit robbery or deal with the ship, a person on the ship or the equipment of the ship in a way that would be likely to endanger the safe use of the ship, or steals the ship shall be guilty of the crime of piracy and liable to be sentenced to life imprisonment or short period.”
Subsection 8 (a) of Section 154A of Chapter 9:23 further criminalises the possession of a ship and the confinement of the ship’s master against his or her will.
Also, the president invoked the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) to amend the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act which will see penalties for serious offenders increasing from $600 to a punitive $500 000.
Under Statutory Instrument 2 of 2004, section 5 of Chapter 9:24 (Directives may specify civil infringements and impose penalties and other sanctions) which initially set a penalty of level 10 at $600, has been amended to fix the fine at $500 000 while a level three penalty is now $5 000 from $20.
A fixed penalty of level five, which was pegged at $100 has been reviewed to $100 000 while level one fine changes from $5 to $5 000.
The changes to the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act were made to make the law compliant with the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force.
The law is in line with the 1999 United Nations Convention for the Suppression of Financing of Terrorism.
Zimbabwe is a member of the Eastern and Southern African Money Laundering Group and is supposed to “apply anti-money laundering measures to all serious crimes and implement any other measures contained in multilateral agreements and initiatives to which member countries subscribe for the prevention of and control of laundering of proceeds of crime”.