ZANU PF youths have said they want the National Youth Service training camps to be revived to beef up the party’s campaign.
REPORT BY OBEY MANAYITI
Addressing party youths in Mutare on Sunday, Talent Kadzima, spokesperson for the Zimbabwe Revolutionary and Patriotic Youth Network (ZRPYN), a Zanu PF-affiliated empowerment organisation, said the youth training camps should be reintroduced soon to teach youths about Zanu PF’s founding principles.
“We want the National Youth Service revived. We need that orientation, that foundation for our people,” said Kadzima.
“It has links with our foundation. That is where youths are taught values and integrity such as anti-greed and the sense of nationhood. That will be the basis of youth participation,” she said.
The National Youth Service programme was launched by the late Youth minister Border Gezi in 2001 to “transform and empower youths for nation building through life skills training and leadership development”.
The programme was, however, discontinued due to lack of funding and after recruits had been widely accused by opposition parties of inciting political violence especially during election time.
The service claims to instill in young Zimbabweans a sense of national identity and patriotism. While it proposes to unite people above party lines, it also condemns “foreign influence and intervention” in national politics.
Speaking at the same occasion, ZRPYN president John Dambaza threatened to expose Zanu PF ministers and top party officials involved in corrupt activities.
“We know there is corruption within our party. Some of the bigwigs are converting resources set aside for youth empowerment to their personal use. In the previous governments, we know several ministers who were corrupt,” said Dambaza.
“This time around we will take them head-on. Even the President (Robert Mugabe) knows that some of his officials are corrupt and we will present him with evidence.
“The Youth Empowerment Fund never benefited the intended people. Even on land, we know there are party bigwigs who have multiple farms yet we don’t have farms. We should encourage transparency. The new Cabinet should also reflect that aspect of transparency,” he said.
At the meeting, Manicaland Zanu PF spokesperson Charles Samuriwo said youths should demand 60% of all opportunities on the basis that they make up more than 60% of the country’s population.