Government’s decision to resurrect the discredited National Youth Service (NYS) is not only a dangerous expedition, but one that all sane Zimbabweans must fight.
It is common cause that graduands from this “national curse” have a checkered history that remains a blight on our collective national psyche. Remember 2008, the rapes, murders, torture camps and disappearances of mostly opposition political party activists still haunt many families across the length and breadth of our nation.
It is, therefore, our hope that reason will prevail ahead of selfish factional interests being stoked by the likes of President Robert Mugabe’s nephew and Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment minister Patrick Zhuwao to create a Frankenstein monster that Zimbabwe may never be able to deal with.
Naturally given his age, Mugabe may not have much time left as the country’s leader and he would be playing a very dangerous game if he were to give the thumbs-up to bringing back the NYS, derisively known as the Border Gezi graduates or Green Bombers for their retrogressive Zanu PF dogma, ideology and reign of terror that left over 300 opposition and human rights activists dead in the run-up to the 2008 presidential runoff poll.
Not that it is a bad idea to inculcate a certain ideology in the youth, but it has been discredited by its links to Zanu PF “killer gangs” who still roam the country’s streets and valleys.
The country needs to weed out the bad apples among the 80 000 first before beginning to train more. These people have nothing to do, they are being trained to hate and major in military drill and political dogma. They are being brainwashed to hate everything that is not Zanu PF. That is a bad start for Zimbabwe and to allow Zhuwao to have his way would be to bring the country back to bondage worse than what was experienced during the colonial Ian Douglas Smith regime.
There is a possibility that Zanu PF is simply preparing the unemployed Border Gezi militias for possible factional wars as the party seeks to impose its will on the peaceful people of this country.
Need we remind the Mugabe-led government that Zanu PF is not Zimbabwe’s entire political establishment! Zimbabweans have never bargained for a one-party State and therefore should never be railroaded into one using extra-judicial means including the creation of paramilitary organisations.
Zimbabwe has less than 100 000 regular soldiers and to create a paramilitary force whose allegiance remains questionable would be at the very least misguided, wrong and most of all unfortunate. The world, let alone Zimbabwe, does not require a reincarnation of Adolf Hitler’s Stormtroopers (Sturm Abteilung — SA) or “Brownshirts”. The Green Bombers have already drawn blood and past experiences reveal a blood-curdling scenario that could emerge.
Government has no money as indicated by its failure to pay civil servants salaries and pensioners their month-end stipends. It is the height of imprudence for Zhuwao to wake up and create another headache for Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa at a time when the Treasury chief is struggling to cover his current expenses.
It only reveals that Zhuwao and those of his ilk in the Generation 40 group are being driven by a sinister motive and it is up to Mugabe to stop the rot. Stop the reinvigoration of the Green Bombers. They are a national curse that has no space in our socio-economic and political landscape.
We plead with Mugabe and his top Zanu PF cabal to stop this nonsense now before Zimbabwe is forced into social upheaval.