Back to Index
Defence Minister's remarks on security sector reform questionable
Human Rights Association (ZimRights)
February 06, 2013
Rights Association (ZimRights) is greatly perturbed by the Defence
Policy presentation made by Zimbabwean Minister of Defence, Honourable
Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday 04 February during the National Defence
College in Harare.
In his speech,
Mnangagwa said he remains adamant in dismissing chances of Zimbabwe
having security sector reforms. His definition of security sector
reform according to the speech, translates to non-governmental orgnisations
and trade unions operating in the defence forces. He added that,
as people and a party with liberation credentials, they will ensure
that the Defence Forces "continue to jealously safeguard national
interests in line with the ideal of the liberation. Those advocating
for security sector reforms were trying to bring about regime change
in Zimbabwe. They do not want to have a Defence Forces that is knowledgeable,
focused and revolutionary. We are against it. They would want a
kind of defence force that is pliant to foreign interests, that
allows expropriation of national resources without question.
While we appreciate
the army jealously safeguarding interests as well as value the ideals
of the struggle that liberated this country, we condemn the definition
of the uniformed forces' duty being flexed and manipulated
to serve interests of certain entities and political parties.
The speech was
misleading particularly considering that the army form one of the
important arms of the nations. ZimRights notes, apprehensively that
the trend seems to signal politicians' intentions to manipulate
such systems into being institutions of indoctrinating young minds
with political party values. This is not the first time bearers
of public offices have misdirected troops in barrack as well as
publicly show allegiance to certain political party yet fully aware
of the contravention of their constitutional duties. Brigadier General
Nyikayaramba hit the headlines for similar reasons in 2011.
Martin Chedondo in May 2012 during a battlefields exercise encouraged
more than 3000 young soldiers from the 2 brigade in Mutoko so support
ZANU PF because it is a revolutionary party and is the only party
he perceived to have national interests at heart. It is a major
cause for concern that such utterances have gone without being given
any attention yet they constitute factors that justify the need
for security sector reform.
The proper definition
of security sector reform is divorced from the minister's
interpretation. It is such perceptions that trigger the call for
security sector reforms. This is after the nation experienced one
of the bloodiest elections in its history in the form of state sponsored
violence and involvement of unformed forces. Thus, security sector
reform from that dimension involves demystifying the belief that
certain parties are preferable beneficiaries of the Zimbabwean army
by virtue of what they consider to be a comparative advantage. It
is that behaviour that must be witted out and is imperative in the
face of possible lections at the expiration of the coalition government.
Visit the Zimbabwe
Human Rights Association (ZimRights) fact
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.