Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 December 2019


The Republic of Zimbabwe signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified on 18 June 1998, becoming a State Party on 1 March 1999. In January 2001, Zimbabwe enacted the Anti-Personnel Mines (Prohibition) Act 2000, which incorporates the treaty into Zimbabwe’s domestic law.[1]

Zimbabwe has provided its views on matters of interpretation and implementation related to Articles 1, 2, and 3. In May 2006, it stated that in joint military operations Zimbabwean forces will not assist or participate in planning and implementation of activities related to the use of antipersonnel mines. It said that the Mine Ban Treaty “clearly bans” foreign stockpiling and transit of antipersonnel mines, and also prohibits antivehicle mines with sensitive antihandling devices or sensitive fuzes that can function as antipersonnel mines. Finally, it said that the number of mines States Parties chose to retain should only be in the hundreds or thousands and not tens of thousands.[2]

Zimbabwe regularly attends meetings of the treaty, including the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014, and more recently the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in November 2018, where it provided an update on Article 5 mine clearance activities.[3] Zimbabwe also attended the intersessional meetings in Geneva in May 2019.

Zimbabwe is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons, nor is it party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Production, transfer, stockpile destruction, and retention

The government maintains that there has been no mine production since independence.[4] Previously, government and other sources indicated that Zimbabwe was a past producer and exporter of antipersonnel mines, but not on a significant scale.[5] Production of two types of Claymore mines, the Z1 and ZAPS types, ended when Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980.[6] On 15 November 2000, Zimbabwe destroyed its stockpile of 4,092 antipersonnel mines.[7] At the time, it decided to retain 700 mines for training and development purposes (500 PMD-6 and 200 R2M2).[8] By the end of 2018, that number had been reduced to 450 (340 PMD-6 and 110 R2M2).[9]

Zimbabwe has acknowledged that it also stockpiles Claymore-type devices, but without tripwire fuzes because Zimbabwe considers these illegal under the Mine Ban Treaty.[10]

[1] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 1 December 2003. The ICBL expressed concern about a provision in the act relating to joint military operations with a country not party to the Mine Ban Treaty; and see, Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 176.

[2] “Response to LM Draft Report for Zimbabwe,” from Col. J. Munongwa, former Director, ZIMAC, 30 May 2006. For more details see, Landmine Monitor Report 2006, pp. 810–811.

[3] Statement of Zimbabwe, Mine Ban Treaty Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 29 November 2018.

[4] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form E, December 2006.

[5] Earlier statements by Zimbabwe government sources and others indicated that production of two types of Claymore mines, the Z1 and ZAPS, ended when Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980, while production of PloughShare mines was stopped between 1990 and 1993. For more information on past production and export, see, Landmine Monitor Report 1999, pp. 97–99.

[6] Interview with Col. J. Munongura, Director, Zimbabwe Mine Action Center, Geneva, 4 February 2003.

[7] Zimbabwe destroyed 3,846 PMD-6 mines and 246 R2M2 mines. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form B, 8 July 2005.

[8] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 4 April 2001.

[9] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form C, 2019.

[10] Interview with Col. J. Munongwa, ZIMAC, in Geneva, 4 February 2003.