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Armed violence prevention, gun control laws and the small arms trade:

Zimbabwe — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

StockpilesGun Numbers

Civilian Guns

Number of Privately Owned Firearms

The estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in Zimbabwe is 400,0001 2 3

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Zimbabwe is 3.444 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Zimbabwe ranked at No. 895

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Zimbabwe ranked at No. 1061

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Zimbabwe are reported to have 141,7406 firearms

Routine Arming of Police

In Zimbabwe, police officers on routine patrol carry one or more firearms7

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Zimbabwe are reported to have 30,5208 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Zimbabwe, annual homicides by any means total

2012: 9819
2008: 1,77510
2007: 645
2006: 921
2005: 1,089
2004: 1,09211
2003: 1,028
2000: 91212
1999: 873
1998: 778

Rate of Homicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn Zimbabwe, the annual rate of homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2012: 7.59
2008: 14.310
2007: 5.2
2006: 7.4
2005: 8.7
2004: 8.710 13
2003: 8.2
2002: 11.3013
2000: 7.2412 10
1999: 7.04
1998: 6.38
1997: 6.810
1996: 6.4
1995: 6.5

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Zimbabwe, annual firearm homicides total

2007: 1910
2006: 19
2005: 19
2004: 20
2000: 59812
1999: 596
1998: 562

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Zimbabwe, the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2007: 0.310
2006: 0.3
2005: 0.3
2004: 0.3
2000: 4.7512
1999: 4.81
1998: 4.61

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun (WHO)

The World Health Organisation estimates the percentage of homicides committed with a firearm in Zimbabwe to be 2012: 2%9

Suicides (any method)

In Zimbabwe, annual suicides by any means total 1990: 76814

Rate of Suicide per 100,000 People (any method)

In Zimbabwe, the annual rate of suicide by any means per 100,000 population is 1990: 7.564

Gun Suicides

In Zimbabwe, annual firearm suicides total 1995: 1215

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

In Zimbabwe, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is 1995: 0.0915

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Zimbabwe, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is prohibited without Government permission16 17 18 19 20

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In Zimbabwe, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law21 22

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Zimbabwe is reported by Customs to be US$14,28123 (2011)

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, Zimbabwe is categorized as 'unknown'24

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In Zimbabwe, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law18 25

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Zimbabwe is reported by Customs to be US$392,58223 (2011)

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Zimbabwe, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law26

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Zimbabwe include21 certification of the intended end user of any small arms or ammunition transfer, and/or a written declaration of its intended end use

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Zimbabwe is categorised as restrictive27

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Zimbabwe includes the Firearms Act, Chapter 10:0928 29

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Zimbabwe are regulated by the Minister of Home Affairs30

Right to Possess Firearms

In Zimbabwe, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law31 32

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Zimbabwe, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms33

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Zimbabwe, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted under licence34

Regulation of Handguns

In Zimbabwe, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence34

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Zimbabwe, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law9

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Zimbabwe, only licensed gun owners32 35 29 9 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Zimbabwe are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm35 25

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Zimbabwe is 14 years36

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Zimbabwe must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental and addiction35 29 9 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Zimbabwe, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required34

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Zimbabwe does not stipulate34 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Zimbabwe, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required34 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Zimbabwe, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every three years35

Licensing Records

In Zimbabwe, authorities maintain a record37 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Zimbabwe are permitted to possess 1 firearm per firearm certificate35

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Zimbabwe are permitted to possess the quantity of ammunition specified in the firearm certificate35

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Zimbabwe, the law requires37 18 that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register

Gun Dealer Record Keeping

In Zimbabwe, licensed firearm dealers are required38 18 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In Zimbabwe, licensed gun makers are required18 39 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Zimbabwe, State agencies are required18 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In Zimbabwe, the private sale and transfer of firearms is permitted40

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Zimbabwe, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful41 42

Limit on Gun Dealer Sales

In Zimbabwe, the number and type of firearms which can be sold by a licensed gun dealer to a single gun owner is limited to one firearm per firearm certificate32 35

Number of Licensed Gun Dealers

The number of licensed firearm dealers in Zimbabwe is reported to be 2003: 1252

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Zimbabwe, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined34

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Zimbabwe, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated34 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Zimbabwe include43 44 45 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Dealer

Firearm regulations in Zimbabwe include46 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Zimbabwe include47 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Zimbabwe include48 49 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Zimbabwe, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is not required by law18 29

Firearm Tracing

In Zimbabwe, state authorities carry out50 51 52 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In Zimbabwe, carrying a gun in a public place is regulated by law9

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Zimbabwe, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm53 is 5 years prison and/or a fine54

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Zimbabwe are known to have2 29 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Firearms Collected and Seized

In Zimbabwe, firearms voluntarily surrendered for destruction, collected or seized in routine policing are reported to number 2003 (2003)

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Zimbabwe, it is state policy18 55 29 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

African Union

In June 2006, as a member of the African Union, Zimbabwe adopted an African Common Position to take to the Conference to Review the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA), held in June 200656

Southern African Development Community

As a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Zimbabwe signed the SADC Declaration Concerning Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials in March 2001. This laid the ground for the August, 2001 adoption of the legally binding SADC Protocol on Control of Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials57

Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development

The Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, a diplomatic initiative aimed at addressing the interrelations between armed violence and development, was signed in 200758 by Zimbabwe.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed, but not yet ratified59 by Zimbabwe

United Nations Firearms Protocol

The United Nations Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition has not been signed60 by Zimbabwe

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Zimbabwe committed to a consensus decision of the United Nations to adopt, support and implement the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects61

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Zimbabwe against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 8062 63 64 65 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Zimbabwe has submitted one or more national reports66 67 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Zimbabwe, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated68 67

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Zimbabwe, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated68

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Zimbabwe submitted to the UN, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities is apparent68 69

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated67 by Zimbabwe to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Zimbabwe has not declared70 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Zimbabwe has been a Member State of the United Nations since 198071

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list72 Zimbabwe as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

For a profile of conflict in Zimbabwe, select the Link icon to open an external web page from the UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia at Uppsala University

Global Peace Index

To see where Zimbabwe ranks, select the Link icon to open an external web page at the Global Peace Index


Short References

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2.

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3.

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Karp, Aaron.2007.‘Completing the Count: Civilian firearms.’ Small Arms Survey 2007: Guns and the City.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,27 August. (Q4)Full Citation

6.

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17.

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18.

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20.

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21.

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22.

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24.

Small Arms Survey.2001.‘60 Known Legal Small Arms Exporting Countries, 2001.’ Small Arms Survey 2001: Profiling the Problem.Oxford:Oxford University Press,1 July. (Q867)Full Citation

25.

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26.

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28.

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29.

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30.

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31.

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32.

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33.

Zimbabwe.1957.‘Special Provisions Relating to Certain Types of Weapons and Ammunition.’ Firearms Act, Chapter 10:09.Harare:Republic of Zimbabwe,1 January. (Q2442)Full Citation

34.

Zimbabwe.1957.‘Arrangement of Sections, Preliminary, Short Title and Interpretation.’ Firearms Act, Chapter 10:09.Harare:Republic of Zimbabwe,1 January. (Q4366)Full Citation

35.

Zimbabwe.1957.‘Grant of Firearm Certificate.’ Firearms Act, Chapter 10:09.Harare:Republic of Zimbabwe,1 January. (Q2434)Full Citation

36.

Zimbabwe.1957.‘Restrictions on Possession of Firearms and Ammunition by Young Persons.’ Firearms Act, Chapter 10:09.Harare:Republic of Zimbabwe,1 January. (Q2444)Full Citation

37.

Zimbabwe.1957.‘Keeping of Central Register.’ Firearms Act, Chapter 10:09.Harare:Republic of Zimbabwe,1 January. (Q2448)Full Citation

38.

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39.

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41.

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42.

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43.

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44.

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45.

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46.

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49.

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50.

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