Energy and Power Development minister Elton Mangoma openly clashed with his Youth Development counterpart, Saviour Kasukuwere, over the National Youth Service (NYS) programme. that has been introduced at a school in Headlands, Manicaland Province.
Mangoma described the NYS programme at Sherenje Secondary School as illegal saying it had not been sanctioned by the government — an allegation Kasukuwere countered.
“From a Cabinet point of view, these things have not been agreed on. We have at least 2 000 illegal programmes in the whole country which have not been sanctioned by the government. We don’t agree on the methods of training and what the youths are being trained in. The curriculum has never been agreed on and the youths here are saying they are now able to salute, which is nowhere near empowerment,” said Mangoma.
Kasukuwere, however, countered: “We are here to help the youths and we will not develop if we give an impression that we are at each other’s throat.”
Jomic chairperson Oppah Muchinguri had a tough time trying to cool down tempers as the two ministers took their political differences to the public.
Seventy-nine youths are undergoing training at the school in a project Zanu PF critics believe was aimed at creating militia bases ahead of the next general election.
Villagers who spoke to NewsDay said they were being forced to donate five kilogrammes of maize meal and a dollar for the youths’ upkeep.