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Chapter 11:08

National Service Act

Act 19/1979, 22/2001 (s. 4




  1. Short title.
  2. Meaning of “resident”.



  1. Director of Security Manpower.
  2. Registered address.
  3. Furnishing of registration certificate and particulars.
  4. Duty to furnish information.



  1. Liability to undergo Phase I and Phase II Service.
  2. Volunteering for Phase I Service.
  3. Call-up for Phase I Service.
  4. Phase I Service.
  5. Phase II Service.
  6. Resident who has completed Phase II Service to remain in designated Service concerned.
  7. Computation of periods of service.
  8. Failure to perform National Service in terms of this Part.



  1. Emergency National Service.
  2. Volunteering for emergency National Service.
  3. Residents deemed to be undergoing Phase II Service 20. Failure to perform emergency National Service.



  1. Residents exempt from National Service.
  2. Medical exemptions.
  3. Exemption boards.
  4. Conscientious objection.



  1. Conditions of National Service and transfer of persons from one designated Service to another.
  2. Engagement of non-residents.
  3. Co-operation of employers.
  4. Causing person to refuse or fail to carry out National Service.
  5. Restrictions on certain residents.
  6. Certificate of service.
  7. Certificate of Director to be evidence.
  8. [Repealed].

AN ACT to provide for the registration, liability for National Service and exemption from that liability of residents; and to provide for matters incidental to or connected with the foregoing.

[Date of commencement: 1st January, 1980.]



1    Short title

This Act may be cited as the National Service Act [Chapter 11:08].

                       2    Interpretation

(1) In this Act—

“certificate of registration” means a certificate prescribed for the purposes of registration under this Act;

“Commander” means, subject to subsection (3)—

  • in relation to the Defence Forces, the Commander of the Army or the Air Force;
  • in relation to the Police Force, the Commissioner of Police;
  • in relation to the Prison Service, the Commissioner of Prisons;
  • in relation to the Ministry responsible for home affairs, the Secretary of that Ministry;
  • in relation to a designated Service referred to in paragraph (c) of the definition of “designated Service”, the person specified in terms of subsection (2) to be the Commander of that designated Service;

“designated Service” means— (a)      any Force; or

  • the Ministry responsible for home affairs; or
  • such other Ministry, department, body or organization as may, in terms of subsection (2), be declared to be a designated Service for the purposes of this Act;

“Director” means the Director of Security Manpower referred to in subsection (1) of section four;

“emergency National Service” means service in terms of Part IV;

“exemption board” means an exemption board appointed in terms of subsection (1) of section twenty-three;

“Force” means—

  • any of the Defence Forces; or
  • the Police Force; or
  • the Prison Service;

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

“National Service” means any service rendered in terms of this Act;

“Phase I Service” means service referred to in subsection (2) or (4) of section twelve;

“Phase II Service’’ means service referred to in subsection (2) or (4) of section thirteen;

“register” means register in terms of subsection (1) or (2) of section five;

“registered address” means an address or change of address notified in terms of regulations referred to in subsection (1) of section six and “registered residential address” shall be construed accordingly;

“repealed legislation” means any enactment repealed by this Act, the National Service Act, 1976 (No. 35 of 1976) or the Defence Act [Chapter 11:02], and any regulations relating to service or employment under the Defence Act [Chapter 11:02] made in terms of the Emergency Powers Act [Chapter 11:04]; “resident” means any person who in terms of section three is a resident for the purposes of this Act.

  • The Minister may, by notice in a statutory instrument, declare any Ministry or department of the State or any body or organization whatsoever to be a designated Service for the purposes of this Act and shall specify the person who shall be the Commander of that designated Service.
  • Any reference in this Act to the Commander, in relation to any National Service, shall be read and construed as a reference to the Commander of the designated Service in which the National Service is being or is to be rendered.

                       3    Meaning of “resident”

  • Subject to this section, any male who— (a) resides permanently in Zimbabwe; or (b) has, whether before or after the 1st January, 1980, resided in Zimbabwe for a continuous period of six months or for periods which amount, in the aggregate, to not less than six months in any period of twelve months; shall be a resident for the purposes of this Act.
  • A person referred to in subsection (1) shall cease to be a resident if he— (a) has left Zimbabwe with the intention of departing permanently therefrom; and (b) has been absent from Zimbabwe for a continuous period of twelve months or more.
  • The following persons shall not be residents—
  • any person serving in any foreign naval, marine, army, air or police force, which is co-operating with the Defence Forces;
  • any person in the service of the government of a foreign country who is not a citizen of Zimbabwe;
  • a member of the Regular Force of any branch of the Defence Forces as defined in the law relating to the conditions of service of members of such branch;
  • a member of the Regular Force of the Police Force as defined in the law relating to the conditions of service of members of the Police Force;
  • a member of the Prison Service, other than a person who is such a member in pursuance of this Act;
  • a member of such branch of any Force, other than a branch referred to in paragraph (c), (d) or (e), as may be prescribed.