Zanu PF Recruites 750 Youths Militia
16 April 2024
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By Political Reporter-The Zanu PF government has initiated the recruitment of 750 youth militia members, signalling a resurgence of a controversial practice aimed at bolstering political influence.

According to state media reports on Tuesday, the youth militia’s enrollment process is underway, with President Mnangagwa slated to preside over the program’s relaunch next month.

Known for utilising youth militia to exert control, particularly in rural regions, Zanu PF’s decision to revive this tactic underscores its historical reliance on coercive measures during electoral periods.

This strategy traces back to the post-independence era in 1980 when the then Youth Minister, Ernest Kadungure, initiated the recruitment of youth militia, a force infamously deployed in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces during the Gukurahundi era, contributing to the persecution of the Ndebele people.

The Cabinet’s recent announcement of the militia recruitment program’s relaunch, rebranded as the “Youth Service in Zimbabwe,” indicates a formalisation of this controversial practice.

Addressing preparations for the program’s kickoff, Mr Ophas Dube, director of the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Development, and Vocational Training responsible for the Youth Service in Zimbabwe, affirmed the government’s commitment to its implementation.
“We are scheduled to inaugurate the program from Nhakiwa Vocational Training Centre on May 24, with the President’s presence. Subsequently, in June, activities will commence at Dadaya National Youth Service Training Centre and Vungu,” stated Mr. Dube.

Highlighting logistical arrangements, Mr Dube assured that provisions, including uniforms and other necessary supplies, had been secured. “All necessary arrangements have been made, and we are fully prepared to proceed. Our centers are being readied for the training sessions,” he added.

An inter-ministerial implementation committee has been established to oversee the comprehensive six-month training program, encompassing three months of institutionalised training and three months of community attachment.

Upon completion, participants will receive certificates recognising their training.