UNIVERSITY OF ZAMBIA
SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCES
DEPARTMENT OF POST GRADUATE STUDIES
HENRY NYUNDU (512800392)
JACK SINYANGWE (STUDENT NO)
BRIAN MUIMUI (STUDENT NO)
CHOLA KATANGA (STUDENT NO)
PROF B J PHIRI
14 AUGUST 2012
IN A NUMBER OF COUNTRIES, CIVILIAN OVERSIGHT OF AND ENGAGEMENT WITH POLICING ARE TWO METHODS OF IMPROVING THE DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE OF THE SECURITY SECTOR. THERE ARE, HOWEVER, SERIOUS QUESTIONS ABOUT THE DEGREE TO WHICH SUCH MECHANISMS COULD FOSTER DEMOCRATIC POLICING IN A SYSTEM CHARACTERIZED BY A LOW LEVEL OF OVERALL DEMOCRACY. WITH THE AID OF EXAMPLES FROM ANY TWO SOUTHERN AFRICAN COUNTRIES DISCUSS THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE STATEMENT IS TRUE.
Civilian oversight of and engagement with policing are viewed as two methods of improving the democratic governance of the security sector. This is true because of the roles played by these organisations in providing checks and balances on the activities of the security sector. The security sector must be transformed so as to create a secure environment that is conducive to development, poverty reduction, good governance and, in particular, the growth of democratic states and institutions based on the rule of law. This relies on the ability of the state to mitigate its people’s vulnerabilities through development, and to use a range of policy instruments to prevent or address security threats that affect society’s well-being. This includes establishing appropriate civilian oversight of security actors. Hence, a broader range of state institutions is now being considered in the provision of security, with the military seen as one instrument among many. The ‘security sector’ includes traditional security actors such as the armed forces and police; oversight bodies such as the executive and legislature; civil society organisations; justice and law enforcement institutions such as the judiciary and prisons; as well as non-state security providers. (A Beginner’s Guide to Security Sector Reform (SSR) December 2007: 5).
The Police are mandated to ensure law and order prevails in society as prescribed by the constitution and the laws of the land. Civilian oversight bodies can thus work with the Police in improving the democratic governance of the security sector by ensuring that human rights and governance principles are observed and practiced.
Unfortunately, it has been very difficult in implement Security sector transformation in some of the Southern African countries such as Zimbabwe due to the Country’s history of being a police state. Almost every ministry and many institutions have be politicized and managed by ex combatants who support President Mugabe. Democratization in Zimbabwe has been a challenge and the local and foreign media has not been free in carrying out its mandate of disseminating news to the world. On the other hand, Zambia has made significant strides the democratization process and in the implementation of security sector transformation of the political will to democratize systems in the country.
The essay will therefore discuss the civilian oversight of and engagement with policing as two methods of improving the democratic governance of the security sector and the degree to which such mechanisms can foster democratic policing in a political system characterised by a low level of overall democracy.
Governance of the Security Sector in SADC
The concept of security sector reform first appeared in the late 1990s, and although these relatively new terms have become widely used, no single definition has yet emerged. Actors involved in diverse fields, including development assistance, democracy promotion, conflict prevention, peacekeeping and post-conflict peace building differ in their understanding of the scope of the security sector, and consequently, of which actors and...
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