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Chapter 10:16

National Heroes Act

Acts 13/1984, 12/1986 (s. 18),18/1989 (s. 34), 14/1993, 22/2001 (s. 4).





  1. Short title.


HEROES 3.        Designation of heroes.



  1. Establishment of Board.
  2. Disqualifications for appointment to Board.
  3. Vacation of office by member of Board.
  4. President may require member of Board to vacate office.
  5. Meetings and procedure of Board.
  6. Functions of Board.
  7. Powers of Board.
  8. Reports of Board.



  1. Application for State assistance.
  2. Consideration of application by Board.
  3. Criteria for determining amount of State assistance.
  4. Duration and other conditions of State assistance.
  5. Appeals from decisions of Board.
  6. Minister may give directions to Board.
  7. Inalienability of payments.



  1. Establishment of Fund.
  2. Holding of Fund.
  3. Application of Fund.
  4. Accounts and audit of Fund.



  1. Offences and penalties.

AN ACT to provide for the designation of national heroes and the rendering of State assistance to dependants of such heroes; to establish a fund to finance State assistance to such dependants; to establish the Heroes’ Dependants Assistance Board; and to provide for matters incidental to or connected with the foregoing.

[Date of commencement: 1st February, 1985.]



1    Short title

This Act may be cited as the National Heroes Act [Chapter 10:16].

                       2    Interpretation

In this Act—

“Board” means the Heroes’ Dependants Assistance Board established by section four;

“Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Heroes’ Dependants Assistance referred to in section twentythree;

“dependant”, in relation to a hero, means—

  • any—

(i)   child, including a step-child, legally adopted child or child born posthumously; or (ii) widow or widower; of that hero; or

  • any person not referred to in paragraph (a) who was wholly or partly maintained by the hero at the date of his death or for a reasonable period before that date;

“Fund” means the Heroes’ Dependants Assistance Fund established by section nineteen; “hero” means a national, provincial or district hero designated as such in terms of section three.

“Minister” means the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;

“registered dependant” means any person who has been registered as a dependant in terms of section thirteen;

“State assistance” means any assistance rendered out of the Fund by the State to a dependant in terms of section fifteen.



                       3    Designation of heroes

Where the President considers that any deceased person who was a citizen of Zimbabwe has deserved well of his country on account of his outstanding, distinctive and distinguished service to Zimbabwe, he may, by notice in the Gazette, designate such person as a national, provincial or district hero of Zimbabwe



                       4    Establishment of Board

  • There is hereby established a board to be known as the Heroes’ Dependants Assistance Board.
  • The Board shall consist of not less than three and not more than five members appointed by the President.
  • The President shall designate one member of the Board as chairman.
  • A member of the Board shall hold office for such period, not exceeding five years, and on such terms and conditions as may be fixed by the President at the time of his appointment.
  • Subject to this Act, a person ceasing to be a member of the Board shall be eligible for reappointment to the Board.
  • A member of the Board shall be paid out of the Fund such remuneration and allowances as the President may fix for members of the Board generally.

                       5     Disqualifications for appointment to Board

The President shall not appoint a person as a member of the Board and no person shall be qualified to hold office as a member of the Board who— (a) is not a citizen of Zimbabwe; or

  • has in terms of a law in force in any country—
    • been adjudged or otherwise declared insolvent or bankrupt and has not been rehabilitated or discharged; or
    • made an assignment to or arrangement or composition with his creditors which has not been rescinded or set aside;
  • has been convicted of an offence involving dishonesty.

                       6    Vacation of office by member of Board

A member of the Board shall vacate his office and his office shall become vacant—

  • one month after the date he gives notice in writing to the President of his intention to resign his office or after the expiry of such shorter period as he and the President may agree; or
  • if he becomes disqualified in terms of paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of section five to hold office as a member; or
  • if he is required in terms of section seven to vacate his office; or
  • if he is absent from three consecutive meetings of the Board of which he has had notice, without the permission of the Board.

                       7    President may require member of Board to vacate office

The President may require a member of the Board to vacate his office if the President is satisfied that the member—

  • has been guilty of conduct which renders him unsuitable as a member; or
  • has failed to comply with any term or condition of his office fixed by the President in terms of subsection (4) of section four; or
  • is mentally or physically incapable of efficiently performing his duties as a member.

                       8    Meetings and procedure of Board

  • The Board shall hold its first meeting on such date and at such place as the President may fix and thereafter the Board shall meet for the dispatch of business at such place and time as the chairman may direct.
  • The chairman of the Board may himself at any time and shall, at the request in writing of not less than two members, convene a special meeting of the Board, which meeting shall be convened for a date not less than seven days or more than thirty days after the receipt of such request.
  • If, at a meeting of the Board, the chairman is absent the members present may elect one of their number to preside at that meeting as chairman.
  • A majority of members shall form a quorum at a meeting of the Board.
  • All acts, matters or things authorized or required to be done by the Board may be decided by a majority vote at a meeting of the Board at which a quorum is present.
  • At all meetings of the Board each member present shall have one vote and, in the event of an equality of votes, the person presiding shall have, in addition, a casting vote.
  • The Board may, with the approval of the Minister, co-opt any person to the Board, but a co-opted person shall have no vote in any decision by the Board.
  • Subject to this section, the Board may regulate its own procedure.

                       9    Functions of Board

The functions of the Board shall be—

  • to keep and maintain a register in which shall be entered—
    • the names of every hero; and
    • the names of any dependant of any hero; together with such particulars of any such hero or dependant as the Board may consider necessary or desirable;
  • to examine and determine the claim of any person to be registered as a dependant in terms of this Act and to determine the form and amount of any State assistance which may be granted to such dependant;
  • to hear and determine any representations or complaints made by any registered dependant relating to the payment or delivery of any State assistance to him;
  • to perform any other function conferred on the Board in terms of this Act.

10 Powers of Board

For the purpose of carrying out its functions in terms of this Act the Board shall have power—

  • to summon witnesses to give evidence before it or to produce any document;
  • to administer oaths and take evidence on oath and make such investigation as the Board may consider necessary;
  • to examine or cause to be examined by such person as the Board may authorize in that behalf, any record or document kept by any person making any claim in terms of this Act;
  • to do or cause to be done all such other things as are necessary or expedient for the exercise of its functions.

11 Reports of Board The Board—

  • shall, as soon as may be after the 1st July in each year, submit to the Minister a report dealing generally with the proceedings and activities of the Board during the preceding year ended on the 30th June; and
  • shall, where required by the Minister so to do, submit to the Minister such reports as the Minister may specify in regard to the proceedings and activities of the Board; and (c) may submit such other reports as the Board considers advisable.



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