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Censorship And Entertainments Control Act

Acts 37/1967, 59/1971, 52/1972, 39/1973 (s. 30), 60/1973, 42/1976 (s. 7), 41/1978 (s. 6), 32/1979 (s. 4), 29/1981 (s. 59), 6/1983, 26/1989, 9/1997 (s. 10), 22/2001 (s. 4); R.G.N. 124/1974; S.I. 694/1981.





  1. Short title.



  1. Board of Censors.
  2. Functions of Board.
  3. Committees of Board.
  4. Advisers and officers of Board and committees.
  5. Remuneration, etc.


  1. Interpretation in Part III.
  2. Prohibition of unapproved films.
  3. Powers of Board in respect of films.
  4. Certificate of approval of films and film advertisements.
  5. Prohibited films.



  1. Prohibition of importation, production and dissemination of undesirable publications, pictures, statues and records.
  2. Power of Board to examine publications, pictures, statues and records and to declare them undesirable or to declare publication or record prohibited.
  3. Future periodical publications.


PUBLIC ENTERTAINMENTS 16. Prohibition of public entertainments unless approved.


PROHIBITED EXHIBITIONS AND ENTERTAINMENTS 17. Prohibition of certain exhibitions and entertainments.



  1. Establishment of Appeal Board.
  2. Appeal to Appeal Board.
  3. Questions of law may be referred to Supreme Court.
  4. Certificate prohibiting disclosure.



  1. Board may alter or reverse its decisions.
  2. Minister may alter decisions of Board and Appeal Board.
  3. Admission of certain persons free of charge.
  4. Seizure of articles for examination by Board.
  5. Prohibition of possession of prohibited articles.
  6. Prohibition of restricted person.
  7. Display or advertisement of restrictions imposed by Board.
  8. Exemption or declaration not invalidated by failure to publish in Gazette.
  9. When ignorance of Board’s declaration a defence.
  10. Offences and penalties.
  11. Determination of what is indecent or obscene or offensive or harmful to public morals.
  12. Regulations generally.
  13. Regulations relating to theatres.

AN ACT to regulate and control the public exhibition of films, the importation, production, dissemination and possession of undesirable or prohibited video and film material, publications, pictures, statues and records and the giving of public entertainments; to regulate theatres and like places of public entertainment in the interests of safety; and to provide for matters incidental to the foregoing.

[Date of commencement: 1st December, 1967.]



1    Short title

This Act may be cited as the Censorship and Entertainments Control Act [Chapter 10:04].

                       2    Interpretation

In this Act—

“Board” means the Board of Censors appointed under section three;

“committee” means a committee appointed under section five;

“drive-in theatre” means a place constructed for the admission of vehicles thereto and provided with stands or other accommodation for vehicles, so arranged that persons may witness the entertainment or film while seated in such vehicles;

“entertainment” includes any stage play, tragedy, comedy, farce, opera, burlesque, interlude, melodrama, strip-tease, pantomime, dialogue, prologue, epilogue, concert, cabaret, circus or other dramatic or musical entertainment or any part thereof;

“film” means—

  • any sequence of visual images recorded on any material, whether photographic film, magnetic tape or any other material, so as to be capable, by the use of such material, of being— (i) shown as a moving picture; or

(ii)      recorded on other material, by the use of which it can be shown as a moving picture; and

  • the sounds embodied on any sound-track associated with a film as defined in paragraph (a); and
  • any portion of a film as defined in paragraph (a) intended for the purpose of advertising such a film; and
  • any exhibited illustration of any matter relating to any film as defined in paragraph (a); and
  • any picture intended for exhibition through the medium of any mechanical, electronic or other device;

“film advertisement” means an advertisement of a film other than an advertisement contained in a newspaper or periodical;

“import” means to bring, or cause to be brought, into Zimbabwe;

“judicial proceeding” means a proceeding before any court, tribunal or person having by law power to hear, receive and examine evidence on oath;

“Minister” means the Minister of Home Affairs or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;

“picture” includes—

  • any drawing, symbol, illustration, painting, wood-cut or similar representation;
  • any print, photograph, engraving or lithograph;
  • any object in or on which there is a picture;
  • any exhibition for the purpose of advertising; but does not include a film;

“place” includes any vehicle, vessel or aircraft;

“play”, in relation to a record, means to render audible the sounds recorded thereon and includes the broadcasting thereof through the medium of radio or television;

“prohibited” in relation to—

  • any film, means declared to be prohibited in terms of section twelve;
  • any publication, picture, statue or record, means declared to be prohibited in terms of subsection

(2) of section fourteen;

“public”, in relation to the exhibition of any film, publication, picture or statue, the playing of any record or the giving of any entertainment, means the exhibition of such film, publication, picture or statue, the playing of such record or the giving of such entertainment, as the case may be—

  • in public; or
  • at any place to which admission is obtained— (i) by membership of any association of persons; or
    • for any consideration, direct or indirect; or
    • by virtue of any contribution towards any fund; and, without derogation from section 13 of the Interpretation Act [Chapter 1:01], “public entertainment” means an entertainment so given or intended to be so given;

“publication” includes—

  • any newspaper, book, periodical, pamphlet, poster, playing card, calendar or other printed


  • any writing or typescript which has in any manner been duplicated or exhibited or made available to the public or any section of the public;

“record” means any contrivance or device in or on which sound has been recorded for reproduction;

“recorded video or film material” means any material, whether magnetic tape, photographic film or other material, upon which any film is recorded;

“statue” includes any figure, cast, carving, moulding or model;

“theatre” means any—

  • building, tent or other erection; or
  • drive-in theatre; where a public entertainment is given or a film is exhibited to which the public or any section of the public has access or is permitted to have access, whether on payment or otherwise and whether or not the right of admission thereto is reserved;

“undesirable” means undesirable within the meaning of subsection (2) of


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