The Central Intelligence Organisation otherwise known as the CIO is an arm of the Zimbabwe security sector whose line of work is inherently classified. For a very long time the organisation and its operations have ignited public debate and fueled speculation.

Central Intelligence Organisation
Trading name
Central Intelligence Organisation
Type
Government
Industry Security, Defence
Founded 1980
Headquarters Munhumutapa Building, Harare, Harare, Zimbabwe
Key people
Happyton Bonyongwe, CIO Director General
Parent Government of Zimbabwe
Footnotes / references
Office Hours
Everyday- 24 hours

Contents

Structure of Organisation

Isaac Moyo is the head of the CIO and is referred to as a director general. The intelligence organisation consists of nine key branches which include internal, external, counter-intelligence, military intelligence, training, close security unit, technical, administration and another simply known as branch six. The other directors who come immediately after Moyo head these other branches. The directors are duty bound to report directly to the President thereby effectively bypassing the minister of defence. Immediately under the directors are deputy directors, assistant directors, provincial intelligence officers, district intelligence officers, senior intelligence officers, assistant senior intelligence officers and ordinary-level intelligence officers.[1]

Functions

The function of the organisation is to provide high level security to the state from threats both within and outside Zimbabwe. The organisation also offers high level security to high raking government officials like the President, various government employees like ministers and diplomats working in and outside Zimbabwe. Regionally the organisation works with other Intelligence organisations from other African countries under a regional body called Central Intelligence and Security Services of Africa CISSA to tackle problems that threaten the stability of the continent and hamper development like terrorism and extremism.[2]

Human Rights Abuses and Malpractices

There have been numerous reports of gross human rights abuses allegedly perpetrated by the organisation which range from unlawful abductions, torturing of civilians at undisclosed locations among others. Some of the specific incidents in which the Intelligence organisation was fingered include the attack on Nelson Chamisa at the Harare International Airport, the brief disappearance of former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation News host Jestina Mukoko and the abductions of Zimbabweans living in South Africa. These are some allegations that have been levelled against the organisation in the media. There were also unconfirmed reports linking the Central Intelligence Organisation to the looting of Diamonds at the Marange Diamond fields among other malpractices.[3]

Recruitment

Applying for a job in the organisation is not public knowledge like other arms of the Zimbabwe security sector like the Zimbabwe National Army or the Zimbabwe Republic Police. It has been proposed that they recruit people with preexisting links and others have even proposed that the process of recruitment is a long process in which the one being recruited is researched on to verify their suitability to the job. There have reports linking the organisation with Bindura University of Science Education in which the organisation was said to be targeting University graduates for their recruitment sessions, Matabeleland is also one of the alleged areas in which the recruitment sessions are said to have taken place in recent years.[4]

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References

  1. Zimbabwe: The Central Intelligence Organization (CIO), including its structure and branches and whether its members commit human rights abuses. And if so, the branch which is involved, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Published: November 2, 2001, Retrieved: June 24, 2014
  2. Isidore Guvamombe CISSA: When the Ides of March woke up a continent, The Herald, Published: April 23, 2013, Retrieved: June 25, 2014
  3. Hope, Nelson Chamisa attacked by CIO agents at Harare International Airport, Sokwanele, Published: March 18, 2007, Retrieved: June 25, 2014
  4. University Graduates Main Target Of CIO Recruitment, Voice of the People, Published: February 26, 2011, Retrieved: 24 June 2014