'Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector'

Project Overview

The purpose of the ZPSP’s work with parliament is to build the capacity of parliamentary sub-committees responsible for oversight of the security sector. The activities with parliament have so far targeted the portfolio committee for Home Affairs and Defence and the thematic committee for Peace and Security.  In May 2015, the Zimbabwe Peace and Security Trust, which implements the ZPSP, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Parliament of Zimbabwe that will see the two organisations partnering in taking this project forward by implementing more capacity building and research activities. The MOU is to last for the duration of the 8th parliament.

Partners

Parliament of Zimbabwe

o   The trainings conducted since 2011 have been coordinated by the parliament of Zimbabwe as the mother body to the targeted subcommittees. The signing of the MOU has formalised the partnership between Parliament of Zimbabwe and ZPSP.

University of Zimbabwe Centre for Defence Studies (CDS)

o   The CDS worked with the ZPSP in coordinating and making presentations during the workshops

SADSEM

o   SADSEM provided experts to make presentations during the workshops

ASSN

o   An expert from the ASSN made a presentation during the workshop on building consensus in SST

Activities

o   Consultation and dialogue with parliamentary officials and parliamentarians

o   Two workshops on “Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector”. The first was held in 2011 and the second in 2014 (click here for a detailed report)

o   MPs and parliament staff were supported by ZPSP to attend trainings at regional and international institutions namely the centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF)’s International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT), the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre(KAIPTC) and African Policing and Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF).

o   Support to two regional parliamentary best practice seminars that Parliament of Zimbabwe holds jointly with the Zambian parliament. 

Results

o   Findings of workshop evaluations reflect that members of the parliamentary subcommittees being trained have improved knowledge of SST

o   Members of the parliamentary subcommittees have more understanding and appreciation of their role in oversight of the security sector

o   Identification of capacity building and research needs by parliamentary subcommittees

o   Creation of space for dialogue between members of parliament and security sector officials, academics and regional experts.