What happened to the ZANU-PF Leadership Code?

The Zimbabwe African National Union adopted a leadership code which would have curbed corruption, and even prevented some of those aspiring for wealth not to go into politics. But like everything else in Zimbabwe it was never implemented in full. In fact, it appears, ZANU-PF leaders are using the code to do exactly the opposite of what it prohibits.

Below is the leadership code adopted by the party at its second congress in August 1984.


ZANU-PF leadership code

Adopted at the second People’s congress August 8-13, 1984



WHEREAS the Zimbabwe African National Union constitutes a Socialist Party; and

WHEREAS it is necessary, desirable and expedient to impose on leaders a strict code of behaviour with a view to assuring the advent of socialism in Zimbabwe;

NOW THEREFORE it is hereby decreed and ordered by the Second People's Congress of the Zimbabwe African National Union hereinafter referred to as ZANU as follows:-


  1. The rules and regulations hereunder shall be cited as the Leadership Code, 1984.
  2. This code shall apply to leaders who are members of ZANU.
  3. In this code, a leader means any person included in the schedule.
  4. The Central Committee of ZANU may from time to time amend the schedule, except that no such amendment may detract from it.

Personal Conduct:

The ZANU Central Committee safeguards and implements policies of the party in their application to the nation and to the leadership. Every leader shall abide by the Party Constitution and policies as the Central Committee shall declare, and shall not:-

  • knowingly act or express himself in a way that violates the Constitution,
  • deal arbitrarily and arrogantly with members of the public or indulge in any conduct which brings the Party into disrepute or ridicule,
  • disclose Party or Government secrets or any confidential information to any unauthorised or unentitled person,
  • be seen or found drunk in a public place,
  • commit acts of immorality,
  • be repeatedly dressed in a slovenly or inappropriate manner thereby failing to maintain personal neatness and cleanliness.

ZANU leadership shall function within its ranks with candour, honesty and discipline and therefore:-

  • A leader shall not deliberately and willfully mislead or give untrue information to the Central Committee or any other organ of the Party.
  • A leader shall, where reasonable orders/instruction have been given by any person above him, obey and comply promptly with such orders/instruction.
  • In the case where a leader believes that an instruction from a ZANU official seriously violates ZANU's constitution or policies, he may decline to carry out the instruction and promptly notify the immediate authority above him of his reasons for his refusal.

The Party firmly upholds the principle of equality of man. Therefore publicly or privately a leader may not advocate or practice any of the following: –

  • tribalism
  • regionalism
  • sectionalism
  • nepotism
  • racialism, and
  • sex discrimination

ZANU regards corruption as an evil disease destructive of society. Therefore it is hereby decreed that a leader shall not:-

  • accept or obtain from any person or for any other person a gift or consideration as inducement or reward for doing or failing to do or for having done or foreborne to do any act in relation to the Party's business or the business of the Government or for the purpose of showing or forebearing to show favour or disfavour to any person in relation to the affairs of the Party or Government,
  • give or offer a gift to any person as an inducement to that other person to do a favour or as a reward for a favour he has obtained or been promised,
  • use funds of the Party or the Government, or produce false receipts and/or account falsely for such monies with intent to deceive the Party or the Government,
  • make collusive arrangements with commercial or other persons or secretly obtain consideration for himself or for another person or fail to disclose the full nature of the transaction to the party or to Government,
  • decline to disclose his personal financial affairs or other assets to a properly constituted Party or Government body of officials investigating corruption.

ZANU believes that a leader who concentrates on acquiring property, or who personally engages in the exploitation of man by man, rapidly becomes an ally of the capitalists and an enemy of socialism; and of the masses of the population. Except as provided in this section, and except as required by his official position, a leader may not:-

  • own a business, a share or an interest in a business organised for profit; provided that this shall not be interpreted as prohibiting such petty side-line activities as chicken runs, small plots and gardens on one's residential property;
  • receive more than one salary;
  • serve as a director of a private firm or business organised for profit;
  • own real estate or other property, or an interest in real estate or other property from which he receives rents or royalties;
  • own more than one dwelling house; except as dictated by family requirements, but in no event shall additional houses be for purposes of earning rents;
  • except with respect to interest received on account of monies deposited in a savings bank or similar institution, receive interest or other income on account of money loaned to another; "No leader shall indulge in Chimbadzo";
  • own or have beneficial interest in more than 50 acres of land;
  • in addition to a salary, receive fees on account of lectures or professional activities in excess of $1 000 a year;
  • nothing in this section prohibits a leader from receiving a fee/ or a royalty on account of a book or work of art or patent that he personally wrote, created or invented.

"Relative" means a wife, son, daughter, grandchild or any other relation of the family.
"Friend" shall include an acquaintance

Where a relative/friend indulges in business or other profit making activities, The Central Committee shall have a right to ascertain that a leader does not derive any financial benefits from them. In no circumstances shall relatives be used as fronts to business ventures.

The Central Committee shall require that leaders disclose their assets periodically, and when so asked, leaders shall comply. Whilst a leader may secure a loan against his salary, in no circumstances shall he use his position to borrow funds or secure any other personal benefits.

It is the duty of every leader to resolutely defend the Party and Government at all costs against enemies. Failure to do so is a dereliction of duty which renders one liable to disciplinary action.

  • This Code shall be implemented by appropriate Disciplinary Committees which must serve as watchdogs of the Party.
  • A person aggrieved by a decision of the Disciplinary Committee may appeal against the decision to a higher Disciplinary Committee.
  • The Disciplinary Committee may find a leader in violation of this Code only after it has given the leader reasonable notice of hearing and an opportunity to hear the evidence against him as well as to present his own evidence.
  • If on the strength of the evidence presented to it, the Disciplinary Committee should find that a leader indeed violated the Code, it shall impose an appropriate sanction on him. The sanction may consist of a recommendation based on the sanctions proposed in the constitution of the party, or/and that Government take appropriate action against the offending leader.


For the purposes of this Code, the following constitute leaders:-

    • Members of the ZANU Central Committee
    • Membes of the ZANU Provincial, District and Branch Executive Committees
    • Members of the Women's League National Executive Council, Provincial. District and Branch Executive Committees
    • Members of the Youth League National Executive Committee, Provincial, District and Branch Executive Committees
    • Ministers
    • Deputy Ministers
    • Provincial Governors
    • Members of the Public Service Commission, and Judicial Services Commission
    • Commissioned Officers of the Army, Airforce, Police and Prison Services
    • Civil servants of the rank of executive/administrative officer and above
    • Employees of parastatals, local and municipal authorities equivalent to the rank of executive/administrative officer and above in the Public Service.


Adopted at the second People's Congress, August 8th-13th, 1984





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