United Kingdom-based academics are of the view that Zimbabwe’s security agencies are divided and are pushing for different agendas.
Stephen Chan, a professor of politics and international studies at SOAS, University of London said that there is an apparent division within the system. Speaking before UK’s Parliamentary Committee on International Development on Tuesday, Chan said:
I think the government’s response has been clumsy and it seems to me that what we have is not just a government response to the issues, but a divided government response to issues.
There seems to be a divided approach to protest issues, not only that, the security forces themselves seem to be divided. It’s not about the issue of interest rivalry, but a true reflection of division within the system.
Another academic, Jocelyn Alexander, a professor of Commonwealth Studies at the University of Oxford said that there is tension between the military intelligence and Central intelligence. Said, Alexander:
You have tensions between the two intelligence services, the military and the Central Intelligence Organisation running through different factions within Zanu PF, so to try and simplify this it is really a black box when trying to analyse the situation, but they are important and a reflection of the workings when it comes to the reaction to the protests.
Zimbabwe’s security forces have come under the spotlight recently after a brutal crackdown on civilians resulted in the death of at least 12 people while hundreds more were seriously injured.