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Last Updated: 29 July 2011

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

The Republic of Zimbabwe has not yet acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

In November 2010, a government representative said that Zimbabwe was following the progress of the convention with interest, but could not state when it would accede.[1] Previously, in March 2010, Zimbabwe stated that “discussions are underway on the matter” of joining the convention.[2]

Zimbabwe participated in two regional meetings held during the Oslo Process that created the convention and expressed its support for a comprehensive ban without exceptions.[3] Since 2008, Zimbabwe has continued to engage in the work of the convention. It attended a regional conference on cluster munitions in Pretoria, South Africa in March 2010. Zimbabwe participated as an observer in the First Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Vientiane, Lao PDR in November 2010, but did not make any statement. It did not attend the convention’s intersessional meetings held in June 2011.

Zimbabwe is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It has not joined the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Zimbabwe has a stockpile of cluster munitions. In March 2010, an official told the CMC that Zimbabwe still possessed cluster munitions left over from the former Rhodesia’s arsenal.[4] Jane’s Information Group has reported that the Alpha bomblet developed for the South African CB-470 cluster bomb was produced by Rhodesia, and that “Zimbabwe may have quantities of the Alpha bomblet.”[5] Additionally, Zimbabwe possesses RM-70 122mm surface-to-surface rocket systems, but it is not known if these include versions with submunition payloads.[6]

Zimbabwe is not known to have produced or exported cluster munitions since its independence. It is unclear if Zimbabwe has ever used cluster munitions.[7]


[1] CMC meeting with Chameso Mucheka, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Zimbabwe to the UN in Geneva, Vientiane, November 2010.

[2] Statement of Zimbabwe, Africa Regional Conference on the Universalization and Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Pretoria, 25 March 2010. Notes by Action on Armed Violence.

[3] For details on Zimbabwe’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 262–263.

[4] CMC meeting with Mucheka Chameso, Permanent Mission of Zimbabwe to the UN in Geneva, Africa Regional Conference on the Universalization and Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Pretoria, 25–26 March 2010. Notes by the CMC.

[5] Robert Hewson, ed., Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, Issue 44 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2004), p. 440.

[6] International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 2011 (London: Routledge, 2011), p. 449.

[7] Zimbabwe has not made a statement regarding possible past use. One source has said Zimbabwean and/or Congolese aircraft dropped cluster bombs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1998. Tom Cooper, Air Combat Information Group website, www.acig.org.