Ken Flower (see Serving Secretly: An Intelligence Chief on Record, Rhodesia into Zimbabwe 1964-1981, John Murray, London 1987) - written shortly before his death.

Ken Flower had worked for H.M. Customs & Excise before joining the British South African Police in Southern Rhodesia in 1937. After war service in British Somaliland and Ethiopia he returned to Rhodesia in 1948, rapidly rising in the hierarchy of the BSAP. He studied the Mau Mau insurgency in Kenya, applying this knowledge to the disturbances in Nyasaland in the late 1950s. Flower was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the BSAP in March 1961 and subsequently served as the first head of the Rhodesian CIO from 1963 (appointed by Field). He was alleged to have been working for MI6 in London, allegations that gain some credence from Sir Humphrey Gibbs (Governor of Rhodesia at UDI) writing the forward to Serving Secretly and referring to him there as 'my friend Ken Flower'.  Little love was lost between him and Walls (and especially Reid-Daly). Looking for a political solution as much as military, he felt that at no point were politicians prepared to make the necessary political concessions to Africans either in the civil or the military sphere.  Following Zimbabwean independence, Flower remained head of the CIO. Flower saw himself very much as non-political, and did not support what he dubbed the 'cowboy element' in the Rhodesian Front.

In March 1975 Flower ordered the assassination of Herbert Chitepo, the then ZANU leader, but as the situation deteriorated, the CIO preparing paper "Commitment of Africans in the National Interest", DG CIO 2/9/75. Every Black man fighting on our side is committed in our favour. If he is for us, he is not against. Every Black man fighting with us is one man and his family not committed to the terrorists.

With a limited White population and a White/ Black ratio now in excess of 1:21 it seems utterly illogical to leave the defence of Rhodesia in White hands . . .why not pave the way for greater African participation now?”

Suggesting extensive recruitment of Africans into all sections of the Security Forces, the promotion of some to commissioned rank; this was sent to various ministries, circulated to OCC. ”The reaction from the government was discouraging, to say the least. The only positive response was a proposal to encourage recruitment of labour for South Africa’s gold mines, so that African males would be moved southwards to employment rather than northwards to swell guerrilla ranks.”

After a War Council meeting he wrote in his diary “4th September 1979: The day after the 40th anniversary of the start of the Second World War, which brought back a flood of memories! Our war continues, and in some respects, escalates. We officials in War Council have had to listen to insistent demands for ‘Militia-types’, more ‘Security Force Auxiliaries’ and the rest, with Ian Smith for the first time strident in his demands. Yet, how many years ago was it that I was advocating just that – a ‘Home Guard’, or what the Bishop now calls ‘The Presence of Men-with-Guns in the Tribal Areas’ – advocating to deaf ears and against the bitter opposition of Smith’s Ministers who swore ‘only over our dead bodies would we agree to munts being armed!’

 

Trace