Independent body to investigate abuses by security services

Roy Bennett said the new set of rules on the conduct of the security services was a step in the direction.

By Tichaona Sibanda
28 January 2013

Any complaints and allegations of misconduct against the members of the notorious armed forces will be investigated by an independent body to be created through an Act of Parliament in the new constitution.

It is hoped this new law, contained in the final draft of the charter to be presented to Parliament next week, will help curtail the type of human rights abuses that have defined Robert Mugabe’s rule since independence in 1980.

Chapter 11 (208) of the draft stipulates that members of the security services must act in accordance with the constitution and law.

‘No member of the security services may, in the exercise of their functions act in a partisan manner, further the interests of any political party or cause or prejudice the lawful interests of any political party or cause.

‘Members of the security services must not be active members or office-bearers of any political party or organisation and serving members of the security services must not be employed or engaged in civilian institutions except in periods of public emergency,’ said one of the chapters on the conduct of members of security services.

Roy Bennett, the exiled treasurer-general of the MDC-T and a victim of a ‘malicious political vendetta’ by hardliners within the military, said the new set of rules on the conduct of the security services was a step in the direction.

Bennett told SW Radio Africa on Monday that he thought the country was falling in line with all respected constitutions in the world, saying he believes every single member of the security forces must be loyal to the constitution and not any political party.

‘It is a fundamental constitutional right to be protected by the armed forces of your country and not to be abused by them just because of your political beliefs,’ he said. ‘Though this new constitution is not perfect, one thing is clear on the armed forces. Its either they’re part of the solution or they will remain part of the problem. If they’re part of the solution there is a very sound future for Zimbabwe.

Part of that solution is sitting down and working these things out for peace, justice and healing in the country. If they’re part of the problem, they will be going against the constitution and in the same process breaking the laws of Zimbabwe and will be dealt with by the laws of the country,’ Bennett added.

United States based political analyst Dr Maxwell Shumba said under the new constitution, most of the armed forces’ operations will be closely monitored by Parliament.

‘Besides their operational duties, Parliament, through this complaints body will be able to monitor their behaviour especially in public. When this constitution becomes law, utterances we have heard from generals openly supporting ZANU PF or defending Mugabe will be seen as violating the laws of the country,’ Shumba added.

14 Responsesto “Independent body to investigate abuses by security services”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Aluta continua ! Let this new consititution come to effect and settle the problems in our country.

    • wilbert_mukori says:

      The right to free and fair election is the very rock on which good
      government stand without that right the only form of government you can build is a tyranny of one shed or another. To give up that right for some ill-defined “step in the right direction”; what direction, no one knows or care. This is the stuff monumental follies are made of.

      In 2008 the then American Ambassador to Zimbabwe, James Mcghie described the GPA MDC was negotiating with Mugabe as “Swiss cheese” with holes so “big one can drive a truck through”. The Ambassador, a seasoned diplomat had, no doubt, tried to advise the MDC against signing such a one-sided agreement but warning was not going through. He was airing his opinion in public out of sheer frustration.

      Everyone including Ambassador Mcghie said the GPA would never work and long behold after five years of endless and utterly pointless bickering we can confirm that Zimbabwe had one of the most dysfunctional GNU in human history.

      Today history is repeating itself. Charovedzera charovedzera, gudo
      rakakwira mawere kwasviba!

      Today Prime Minister Tsvangirai is accepting this Copac constitution,
      “dictated” by Mugabe, which will deny the people by basic right to free
      and fair elections. The MDC leader is also accepting that the elections can go ahead although he of all people knows the critical reforms to ensure free and fair elections are not been implemented.

      There is simply no rational reason why Tsvangirai accepted the Copac
      constitution; no rational reason why he would want elections before the reforms are implemented; just as there was no rational reason he signed the one-sided GPA agreement in 2008. None other than he is so disaster prone; he would the street just so he can step on a banana-peel, slip and fall.

      Now as happened in 2008 the MDC leadership, membership and much of Zimbabwean public are all falling behind Tsvangirai without ever asking where he is leading them. They all follow him like sheep to the slaughter!

      If Zimbabweans follow Tsvangirai and vote yes then they rightly deserve
      the violence that will follow and the tyrannical regime that would emerge. If
      the electorate is that stupid to keep following a blundering fool again and
      again then they clearly lack the mental aptitude to appreciate the value of
      free and fair and to understand the subtlety of its application in a functional
      democratic government.

      In short, if Zimbabweans do not see the GPA as one big disaster PM
      Tsvangirai has made then they will follow him again on this even bigger
      disastrous path he was chosen and sadly they have not learnt the lesson and therefore will pay dearly this disaster too.

      • Yepec says:

        Wilbert Mukori, when are you going to stop this charade? In addition to stopping the charade, the electorate or the readers of this post would be spared of your deliberate comments meant to feed them with misinformation.

        For an example, “if the electorate of Zimbabwe voted NO against the Copac Draft, the country would a chance crafting a democratic constitution since another GPA would be made or an extension of the present one would be made in order for the country to craft a democratic Constitution that ensures “free and fair elections” or something to that effect – commitment not a document Wilbert.

        For your own information, in case you did not know of the GPA,

        (i) it is a SADC initiative that ends in October 2013. Given that SADC is tired of the long running political problems of Zimbabwe, there is not going to be a likelihood that it will have another GPA.

        (ii) Should SADC resurcitate the GPA initiative, the make up of its players is likely to change or have changed drastically. Zambia provides another good example.

        (iii) Finally, Mugabe attends the SADC and AU meetings as the Head of State of Zimbabwe, legitimizing his regime, the reason for the GPA in 2008 Therefore, Africa, Russia and the Eastern countries (majority in this world), already recognises Mugabe and his regime.

        Under, the above scenario Zanu PF, rather SADC, is not going to allow you and followers have another GPA or to extend the present one. Remember that it was SADC that put in limbo the “SADC Tribunal Court because Zanu PF opposed its ruling. Therefore, It is for these reasons that you are called a “demagogue” because you preach and argue for what you logically know to be false

        • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

          No matter how you try to educate him, Wilbert will not change his mind set which is fixed. He will not move even by a millimeter. That is his nature.

          • Tanonoka Joseph Whande says:

            Wilbert needs no education from whimps and cowards who feel graceful throwing personal insults while hiding behind fake names, just like the Chimbwidos and war vets used to do for good reasons. What boggles my mind is how Chimbwidos Warvets, with such an analytical mind (pardon me, Lord) spoils it all by getting personal instead of addressing any issue on hand. If only he had the brains to debate issues with as much gusto as he insults people…
            Besides, why should Wilbert change a winning brain?

      • themba ndebele says:

        one day you, will understand how things work. do you think France is in Mali because of Terrorists, wake up my friend. Mali is a wealthy country, please check about Manza Musa 1 and the wealth of Mali. Mali are the 3 rd largest gold producers in the world. So when it comes to Zimbabwe, let me help you if you can be helped. If Zimbabwe had succeed to reverse the land issue, All of Africa would have followed suit, and cause more losses for Europe. There Zimbabwe was a case study. Please do check Merrex Gold, Roulston Resources, Randgold resources, that might give you who rules and causes civil wars in Africa, click on their projects.

  2. super mondo says:

    well it sounds good

  3. wilbert_mukori says:

    The reality on the ground is that soldiers have already been deployed all over Zimbabwe and they are already involved in the intimidation and harassment of civilians. Does anyone of the these two gentlemen believe the day the Copac constitution is adapted these soldiers will suddenly go back to their barracks, the Police will round up Chipangano and all other Zanu PF thugs, etc. and we will have free and fair elections?

    The people of Zimbabwe want free and fair elections and not another “step in the right direction” whatever that is supposed to mean!

    MDC had the last five years to get the reforms agreed in the GPA implemented;
    they failed to get not even one reform implemented. As for this Copac rubbish
    the party has allowed Mugabe to “dictate” what was to be in the document. Now
    the party is lying about these elections being free just to get the people to
    approve the Copac rubbish.

    MDC should know that if people vote yes and there is violence then the party too will have blood on its hands and not just Zanu PF thugs would have committed the crime.

    By voting NO this country has a real chance of getting the reforms
    implemented and a truly democratic constitution written BEFORE the elections
    are held and thus safe limbs and human lives.

    Prime Minister Tsvangirai and his MDC party were advised against signing the one-sided GPA but they would not they refused to listen. They should not once again gamble with the people’s basic rights, wellbeing and future!

  4. themba ndebele says:

    It is always interesting when wanting to investigate for crimes done, should these only include be those from 1980 done only by Mugabe, but that we should also include the ones done before independence by Roy Bennett, as some of us are still suffering because of what he did. It is surprising that reconciliation seems to be one sided. I read another article by Roy Bennett was describing Africa as toilet, is it that because, Africa or Zimbabwe can only be considered a success Whites are the bosses. I need to hear his argument or come out on defense of his utterances. Because to be making statements like Zimbabwe will become another Somalia, sends the wrong message, that civil war is being organised to force an agenda to push for change at all cost. If we don’t rule, then no-one will enjoy in Zimbabwe, is that what he was meaning by his statements. Wilbert, Zimbabwe has moved no, and I don’t know what your issues are, or maybe you are outside Zimbabwe on amnesty, we live in Zimbabwe and not involved in politics. So if feel sorry for you.

    • wilbert_mukori says:

      You are right, “Zimbabwe has moved on” but in what direction?

      33 years of mismanagement, corruption and looting have produced a filthy rich few whilst throwing millions into abject poverty and despair and the whole nation is being subjected to brutal repression to silence all those critical of the regime. Over 30 000 innocent Zimbabweans have been murdered to establish and maintain the de facto one-party dictatorship. That is not the direction Zimbabwe should be going! And any Zimbabwean with any grey stuff between their ears must take it upon themselves to stop this madness!

      • themba ndebele says:

        at what level did you reach in education? All you mentioned was before GPA, which is in the past, we have moved on. Not knowing whether you have read through the final draft of the constitution, which is present not past. Amongst the 30K killed were my own brothers and sister, which i know very well, but moved from that. Grey matter between the ears full of what stuff,because it could be useless outdated propaganda. Did you ever read the ZIDERA 2001. I am not in politics but understand of the underlying currents affecting our country. China is not democratic at all but look at how the US, Europe are borrowing from the communists who are a one party state. But that side it not mentioned, why? Because beggars are not choosers, therefore, why you talk about capitalism and democracy what are you talking about. when last were you in Zimbabwe?

        • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

          You are just wasting your time talking to a brick wall my brother. I have tried to educate this ‘house negro’ on many occasions but I have given up. He want to appear sophisticated and yet the head is almost empty. It is surprising that he has recently been given the designation for a political analyst by SW Radio Africa. Here is a man who does not know his history and whose views are Eurocentric rather than Afrocentric who wants to represent our views to the outside world. It is a joke. Just ignore him if you can, my brother.

      • themba ndebele says:

        I live in Gwanda,and could tell you how whites operate and what they are doing. If you have no clue, come and see how we need to change our attitudes. Gold mines here are controlled by white Rhodesians, who are experts in smuggling. One family owns over 200 km of gold rich area, and most of them had these registered as wild life santuaries, yet behind the scenes were busy mining. what would you call that, honesty or corruption, because most of them have vowed never to pay taxes.

    • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

      Roy Bennet, Ian Smith and many rhodies should never have been forgiven for the crimes they committed against the people of Zimbabwe. We made a big mistake when the country introduced the doctrine of reconciliation that allowed war criminals to escape the death roll. It is the same in South Africa when the so-called doctrine of Truth and Reconciliation was introduced after the country gained its independence once again to pardon war criminals in this country. We should never have pardoned these criminals at all.

      We were all coned by these white bastards who now stand on high moral ground when they exterminated our people whose clarion call was to be a free people from foreign occupation and domination. Without shame for the crimes they committed against our people they did not want to leave our land they had stolen until we had to take action. They still own and control almost 80 percent of the economy while our people have nothing

      The white people of this country can never be trusted. They are evil and do not care about the role they played in the past in their bid to perpetually subjugate our people. They no longer see eye to eye with Robert Mugabe, a man who pardoned them of their evil deeds and today they are laughing at us as if they did nothing wrong in the past. Reconciliation worked in their favor and never ours. In Shona language we say ‘kurera imbwa nemukaka mangwana inofuma yokuruma’.

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