The Cabinet on Wednesday, 04 October, considered and approved Zimbabwe’s Accession to the SADC Protocol on Extradition.

“Accession” is the act whereby a state accepts the offer or the opportunity to become a party to a treaty already negotiated and signed by other states and has the same legal effect as ratification.

Speaking during a post-Cabinet media briefing in Harare today, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Jenfan Muswere, said:

"Cabinet considered and approved Zimbabwe’s Accession to the SADC Protocol on Extradition.

The objective of the SADC Protocol on Extradition is to reduce crime levels through the extradition of persons wanted for prosecution or the imposition or enforcement of a sentence in the requesting Member States.

Through the protocol, SADC member states agreed to ensure speedy response and cooperation in assisting the prevention of crime and eliminating threats to the security of members through mutual assistance on matters of extradition."

The protocol provides a framework for the extradition of individuals who are accused or convicted of criminal offenses between SADC member states.

Under the protocol, SADC member states are required to cooperate with each other in the extradition of individuals who are wanted for prosecution or who have been convicted of a criminal offense in another member state.

The protocol sets out the procedures and requirements for extradition, including the documentation and evidence that must be provided, the grounds for refusal of extradition, and the rights of the individual who is subject to extradition.

Article 2 of the SADC Protocol on Extradition says:

"Each State Party agrees to extradite to the other, in accordance with the provisions of this Protocol and their respective domestic law, any person within its jurisdiction who is wanted for prosecution or the imposition or enforcement of a sentence in the Requesting State for an extraditable offence."

Article 3 (1) which deals with extractible offences says:

"For the purpose of this Protocol, extraditable offence are offences that are punishable under the laws of both State Parties by imprisonment or other deprivation of liberty for a period of at least one year, or by a more severe penalty.

Where the request for extradition relates to a person wanted for the enforcement of a sentence of imprisonment or other deprivation of liberty imposed for such an offence, extradition may be refused if a period of less than six months of such sentence remains to be served."