Will the security sector be a constructive partner in Zimbabwe’s recovery? Or will it be a spoiler, bringing the nation back to the brink?
Since the formation of the Government of National Unity in February 2009, Zimbabwe has begun a tentative economic recovery, and there is hope for the future. But political violence continues.
This paper assesses the security sector’s role in Zimbabwe and identifies key areas for reform. Will the security sector be a constructive partner in Zimbabwe’s recovery? Or will it be a spoiler, bringing the nation back to the brink?
The author makes four main propositions: first, that Zimbabwe needs a National Defence and Security Strategy based on a ‘security plus’ ideal, which integrates traditional defence policy with ‘people-centered’ security. Second, that Security Sector Reform is a major component of the National Defence and Security Strategy. Third, that Security Sector Reform in Zimbabwe should be appropriate to the local context, and led by the Zimbabwean people in a consultative process. Fourth, that the international community, including the United Kingdom, has a role to play and that ‘smart security’ partnerships are of great value. The paper acknowledges that political will is a prerequisite for successful reform, but argues that it cannot wait until the country is stabilised. Security Sector Reform must begin now.
Download the report here (PDF)