Zanu PF Launches Youth Militia Training
3 April 2024
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By Political Reporter- The Zanu PF government has reinstated the notorious youth militia program.

Renamed the National Youth Service program, this initiative, notorious for its role in past atrocities, has been revived to bolster the ruling party’s grip on power ahead of the upcoming elections.

Originally instituted at independence, the program gained infamy for its involvement in the Gukurahundi atrocities, where it was instrumental in terrorizing supporters of opposition figure Joshua Nkomo.

Eanerst Kadungure was the first post-independence minister to oversee this notorious group in 1980, and he led the program under the guise of national service. But, it quickly became synonymous with political violence.

State media reports indicate that the militia training program now rebranded as the Youth Service in Zimbabwe (YSZ), is set to recommence this June.

Initial enrollment stands at 750 youth militia drawn from all corners of the country.

With plans to expand its reach, the six-month training program is poised to indoctrinate thousands more into its ranks.

The program’s revival was announced yesterday during a post-Cabinet media briefing in Harare, delivered by Information Minister Jenfan Muswere.

This move marks a disturbing echo of past tactics, as the program was previously relaunched in 2000 amidst the rise of the organized opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

During this period, it was utilised to instil fear and suppress supporters of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

The resurrection of the youth militia program raises serious concerns about the state of democracy and human rights in Zimbabwe.

Critics fear its revival could pave the way for a return to the era of political violence and intimidation, undermining the principles of free and fair elections.

As Zimbabwe prepares for its next electoral cycle, the spectre of state-sponsored coercion looms large, casting a shadow over the nation’s democratic aspirations.