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Zimbabwe Defence Forces

Last modified: 2022-10-22 by bruce berry
Keywords: zimbabwe | zimbabwe defence forces | zimbabwe army |
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image by Miles Li, 22 August 2008

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Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF)

The existence of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) is enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Chapter X, 96 (1), which states that," For the purpose of defending Zimbabwe, there shall be Defence Forces consisting of an Army, an Air Force and such other branches, if any, of the Defence Forces as may be provided for by or under an Act of Parliament"

The ZDF was established following the independence of Zimbabwe following the integration of the three former belligerent forces, namely the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) and the Zimbabwe Peoples' Revolutionary Army, (ZIPRA) on one side and the Rhodesian Security Forces on the other.  The website of the ZDF indicates that it is divided into the following departments; Command Element, Operations and Plans, Operations Requirements, Medical Services, Support and Careers, Finance, Logistics, Programmes, Reserve Force, Policy, PR, and International Affairs, Protocol, ZDF HQ Camp and Defence Intelligence.

 The roles and functions of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces are:

         To ensure the protection and security of Zimbabwe's territorial integrity and independence.

         To provide military aid to civil power and civil authorities in Zimbabwe.

         To provide military support to promote Zimbabwe's economic, political and social interests.

         To fulfill international obligations and responsibilities with regard to international treaties and other states in the field of support operations, collective security, confidence and security building measures and humanitarian relief activities.


The flag of the ZDF comprises two vertical panels of red and light blue.  In the centre are a yellow Zimbabwe Bird and a Bateleur eagle in flight superimposed over two crossed assegai spears in saltire, with a ribbon between the two spears below containing the words ZIMBABWE DEFENCE FORCES.  The colours and the symbols are taken from the Army and Air Force flags.
Bruce Berry, 29 July 2008