HomeNewsOpposition condemns ‘Green Bombers’ return

Opposition condemns ‘Green Bombers’ return

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OPPOSITION parties and analysts yesterday reacted angrily to President Robert Mugabe’s recent announcement that government was planning to re-introduce the dreaded national youth service programme.

BY MOSES MATENGA

In separate interviews with NewsDay, the analysts warned Zimbabweans to brace for a sharp rise in cases of political violence, rape and torture at the hands of the Zanu PF militia graduating from the programme.

Mugabe told party supporters at his belated 91st birthday party in Victoria Falls on Saturday that his government was planning to ensure that all students go for national service training training after Ordinary Level.

“We want to enhance our national service training. It is important training indeed. We would want to get to a stage where every student will have gone through national service training at ‘O’ Level, so we want to build resources towards that,” Mugabe said.

But United MDC spokesperson Jacob Mafume said government was failing to prioritise bread and butter issues.

“The Green Bombers (national youth service graduates), as they are known, have brought out the worst out of citizen behaviour. Not one of them is a model citizen. They are known for violence, rape, torture, kidnappings and so on,” Mafume said. “They have been used to commit crimes against humanity . . . on Zimbabweans and to then call that a priority is a sick joke.”

MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said: “They are not bothered one iota about the collapsing economy. Mugabe craves for political power as an end in itself. Everything else is secondary. What they want now is to indoctrinate the youngsters with toxic propaganda aimed at the deification of Mugabe. At this rate, Mugabe will fast surpass Kim Jong-un of North Korea as the world’s most notorious dictator.”

Political analyst Takura Zhangazha said: “The track record of the national youth service programme isn’t one that has been coherent or organised, but seen as a move to propagandise young Zimbabweans on issues Zanu PF feel are important.”

He added: “The partisan nature of the previous service casts doubt on its significance to improve the livelihood of the people.”

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