WASHINGTON DC —
Zimbabwe's State Security Minister, Sydney Sekeramayi, says the push for security sector reform ahead of elections is an attempt by western nations to recolonize the country, vowing the government will push back against such efforts.
Sekeramayi, one of the security chiefs who have publicly declared they would resist a transfer of power to the Movement for Democratic Change if Morgan Tsvangirai were to win, says those pushing for reforms want to destabilize the country.
His statements came just days after Zimbabwe and Western countries met in London, where the issue of security sector reform was raised, among other governance issues.
“That is a project by the country’s enemies who want to weaken the state," Sekeramayi told state radio Friday. "So this is a mere project to destabilize the country and it is not acceptable.”
The MDC formations want security sector chiefs relieved of their duties, accusing them of being biased towards President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF.
Zanu-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo told VOA his party shares Sekeramayi’s concerns, adding though that the concern is neo-colonialism, not physical recolonization.
"They are trying to create a neo-colonial state that they can control and direct, and that is what we are opposed to," said Gumbo.
"We didn't fight for this country in order for us to have a neo-colonial state. We want a free, independent Zimbabwe which is run by indigenous people, not puppets put in office by their Western masters."
But MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora insisted that real democracy could only be achieved if the security sector is overhauled.
"There must be security sector reform in Zimbabwe, especially given the track record of some members of the security forces. We have raised it with SADC (Southern African Development Community) and the African Union," said Mwonzora.
Meanwhile, an American organization is appealing for Mr. Tsvangirai to work harder for peace in the country ahead of elections anticipated sometime this year.