Zimbabwe Red Cross Society, ZRCS, was established through an Act of Parliament
Serving humanity in Zimbabwe THE Fundamental Principles - humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, universality - reflect a certain discipline within the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, but they also and above all convey an overriding concern for human welfare. Admittedly, the Red Cross was not the first to relieve human suffering. Solidarity and compassion have always been widely expressed in both words and deeds in the most diverse cultures. The Zimbabwe Red Cross Society always strives to alleviate human suffering. The Society functions as an auxiliary to government in all its main programmes. However, the ZRCS maintains its autonomy and independence. Having started as a branch of the British Red Cross Society which was in existence in Zimbabwe as a voluntary association for 49 years, the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society was established through an Act of Parliament, the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society in 1981. The purpose of the Act is to constitute the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society as the national Red Cross Society for the purposes of the Geneva Conventions; to amend section 2 of the Welfare Organisations Act (Chapter 93); and to provide for matters incidental to or connected with the foregoing. It was officially recognized by the International Committee of the Red Cross and was admitted into the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in 1983. . The International Federation’s Strategy 2010 has been used in the planning process; in particular for the development of a long-term strategic plan. The ZRCS operates in all the provinces in Zimbabwe. At present, there are 282 branches. As a gender sensitive organization, women constitute more than 52 per cent of the total members. At headquarters, women constitute 53 per cent of the senior staff members. This is a result of the equal opportunities and affirmative-action policies. The ZRCS has a volunteer development policy implemented through its development programme for leadership at the grass-roots level. The Society has also strategic core groups of volunteer professionals at national and provincial levels. The role of the ZRCS staff is to coordinate and monitor the work carried out by volunteers. The ZRCS runs several programmers all aimed at alleviating human suffering and addressing the urgent humanitarian needs of those in distress.
Purpose of the Zimbabwe Red Cross Act – To constitute the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society as the national Red Cross Society for the purposes of the Geneva Conventions; to amend section 2 of the Welfare Organisations Act (Chapter 93); and to provide for matters incidental to or connected with the foregoing Enacted by the President and the Parliament of Zimbabwe in 1981 through the Zimbabwe Red Cross Act, 1981.
Started as branch of the British Red Cross Society which was in existence in Zimbabwe as a voluntary association.
According to the ZRCS Act, section 4, the objects of the Society shall be:

  •     4a) in times of armed conflict and in peace time, to act in all the fields covered by the Geneva Conventions and on behalf of all persons, both military and civilian, suffering from the effects of armed conflicts.
  •     4b) in times of peace to make preparations for the carrying out its functions in the event of armed conflict
  •     4c) on its own initiative to organize emergency relief to victims of disasters, however caused, where possible in accordance with a national plan
  •     4d) in co-operation with public authorities where this is possible, to encourage, support and carry on any activity which relieves suffering and promotes the health and welfare of the community and to provide public instruction in such activities:

provided that , save in circumstances which the Society considers to be exceptional, the Society shall not subsidize any scheme or assume any responsibility which is the legitimate of some public authority

  •     4e) to inspire boys and girls of school age with the ideals of the Junior Red Cross, namely health, service and international friendship, and to form Junior Units wherever possible
  •     4f) to interest and instruct public and official opinion in the work of the Red Cross, in the Geneva Conventions and in the principles which inspire the Red Cross and the Geneva Conventions
  •     4g) to recruit and train members to perform the activities specified in paragraphs a) to f) and for this purpose to establish such regional and local committees as the Society considers appropriate
  •     4h) generally, to carry out and assist in work for the improvement of health, the prevention of disease and the alleviation of suffering wherever it may occur in times of peace or armed conflict.

Section 5 of the ZRCS Act sub paragraph (2): In the exercise of its powers in terms of this Act the Society and its agents shall not discriminate adversely on the ground of race, colour, nationality, tribe, place of origin, political opinions or creed, and shall act in accordance with the spirit and principles of the Geneva Conventions.
Section 6

  1. The Society is hereby recognized as a voluntary aid society auxiliary to the public authorities both for the purposes of the Geneva Conventions and otherwise
  2. The independent and voluntary nature of the Society shall at all times be respected in accordance with the resolution relating to National Red Cross Societies adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on the 19th of November , 1946
  3. The Society shall be the only Red Cross society in Zimbabwe
  4. The provisions of this section shall bind the State.

Section 7
The Society may use, in conformity with the Geneva Conventions –
a) the emblem of a red cross with vertical and horizontal arms the same length on and completely surrounded by a white background; and,
b) the designation "Red Cross" and "Geneva Cross"
Section 12
Section 2 of the Welfare Organisations Act (Chapter 93) is amended in the definition of "welfare organization" by the insertion after paragraph (vii) of the following paragraph –
" (vii) the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society established by the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society Act, 1981."