Radio station names hundreds of Zimbabwe secret agents
July 4, 2011 2 Comments
By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
A Zimbabwean opposition radio station has begun disclosing the names of hundreds of Zimbabwe intelligence operatives, in what experts say could potentially decimate Zimbabwean intelligence collection activities around the world. On June 30, SW Radio Africa, which is based in London, United Kingdom, aired the names of 83 officers of Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), and promised to air over 400 more in the coming weeks. The revelation is based on a 2001 document, which was leaked to the station by an unnamed CIO insider. In a statement, SW Radio Africa station manager Gerry Jackson dismissed national security concerns, arguing that the CIO “is not used to protect national security and to safeguard Zimbabweans”, but rather as “the brains behind the regime” of Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe and his political grouping, ZANU PF. Jackson also cited a 2007 Human Rights Watch report, which found that the CIO is among the country’s most serious perpetrators of widespread human rights abuses. The station said that it decided to publish the names “in the interests of transparency and accountability and in the hope that by exposing these names […] some of the perpetrators of violence [will] think twice before they commit further human rights abuses”. Among the names included in the initial list of 83 persons is that of Hamad Adam, who is listed as a “political councilor” in the embassy of Zimbabwe in Berlin, Germany, as well as Paul Chikawa, who is a staffer in the country’s consulate in Hong Cong. The list also features Edward Chinoza, who is Zimbabwe’s Consul General in the newly autonomous nation of South Sudan, as well as Happton Bonyongwe (pictured), the CIO’s Director General, who is said to report directly to Robert Mugabe. Some of those on the list appear to work for the CIO inside Zimbabwe, such as Maxwell Chidzamba, who is accused by the opposition MDC-T party of murdering one of its activists in January of 2008. The government of Zimbabwe has not issued a statement in response to the leak, but media observers in Harare said earlier today that the CIO had been “thrown into turmoil” by what could be “the most serious breach of the organization’s secrecy in its entire history”.