Editor’sNote: Security Sector Reform in Zimbabwe

By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha, iZiviso.com Global Editor At Large

Harare, Zimbabwe – The security sector reforms dominated headlines and proved a major bone of contention among Zimbabwe’s political players which entered a political power sharing agreement (entitled the Global Political Agreement) in 2008. The issue proved to be a sticking point in negotiations to end Zimbabwe’s decade-long political impasse.

The leading opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, accused security forces including the national army, the police and the Central Intelligence Organization of clamping down on its supporters to help incumbent Preside Robert Mugabe maintain his grip on power.

In spite of recommendations to reform the sector from the South African facilitators of political negotiations in Zimbabwe, Mr. Mugabe insisted that the security sector is “well-established” and did not need to go through a reform process.

He argued that the security forces had fought colonialism  and brought about independence to Zimbabwe.

To complicate matters, Zimbabwean senior security officials have often declared that they would not accept any outcome that removed Mugabe from office, raising concerns as to whether they would be prepared to accept the outcome of the next elections. Senior security officers also insisted that they would only salute someone with wartime credentials, clearly excluding opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangiari. There are fears that without security sector reform, Zimbabwe can never achieve true democracy

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