Zimbabwe Defence Forces

Zimbabwe Defence Forces
Zimbabwe Defence Forces
Flag of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.svg
Flag of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces
Current form 1980
Service branches Zimbabwe National Army
Air Force of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Republic Police
Headquarters Harare
President Robert Mugabe
Chief of staff General Constantine Chiwenga
Conscription 18-24 years of age
Active personnel 29,000 military, 21,800 paramilitary[1] (ranked 83rd)
Budget US$60 million (2006)
Percent of GDP 3.8% (2006)
Related articles
History Military history of Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) are composed of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) and the Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ). As a landlocked country, Zimbabwe has no navy. The most senior commander of the ZDF is currently General Constantine Chiwenga.


Ministry of Defence

In July 1994 the combined Zimbabwe Defence Forces Headquarters was created.


The Zimbabwe armed forces had an estimated strength of 29,000 in 2007. The ZNA had an estimated 25,000 personnel. The air force had about 4,000 men assigned.[1]


Zimbabwe maintains a strong paramilitary force. In 2007 the IISS estimated that the Zimbabwe Republic Police had 19,500 personnel, including an Air Wing, and that there was an additional 2,300 personnel in the Police Support Unit.[1] Separately Paramilitary Police have been reported.


At the time of independence, the then Prime Minister Robert Mugabe declared that integrating Zimbabwe's three armed forces would be one of Zimbabwe's top priorities. The existing Rhodesian Army was combined with the two guerilla armies; the 20,000-strong ZANLA forces of ZANU-PF and the 15,000-strong ZIPRA forces of PF-ZAPU. A British Military Assistance and Training Team played a pivotal role in assisting the creation of the new army, and was still in place in 2000.[2] The Rhodesian Air Force was eventually reorganised as the Air Force of Zimbabwe.

It has been alleged by opposition leaders that the military has gained control of political life in Zimbabwe following the 2008 elections that saw the MDC become the majority party in the Parliament.


  1. ^ a b c The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) (2007). The Military Balance 2007. Abingdon: Routledge Journals. ISBN 9781857434378.  Page 299.
  2. ^ "UK urged to keep force in Zimbabwe". The Independent (London). 16 April 2000. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/uk-urged-to-keep-force-in-zimbabwe-719089.html. 


Further reading

  • Abiodun Alao, 'The Metamorphosis of the “Unorthodox”: The Integration and Development of the Zimbabwe National Army,' in Terence Ranger, Soldiers in Zimbabwe's Liberation War
  • Norma J. Kriger, ‘Guerrilla Veterans in Post-war Zimbabwe: Symbolic and Violent Politics,’ 1980-1987, Cambridge UP, 2003

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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