'No funds for Green Bombers'

HARARE - The full-scale comeback of the much dreaded National Youth Service (NYS) is facing major challenges as funding for the programme is limited, due to the cash crisis government is currently facing — a Cabinet minister has said.

Addressing a press conference yesterday, Youth and Indigenisation minister Patrick Zhuwao said the programme that was re-introduced this year, has only managed to train 112 youths.

NYS’s first batch was inaugurated in 2001 by President Robert Mugabe at the Border Gezi Training Centre in Mount Darwin and until 2008 the programme had churned “80 000” graduates.

Ostensibly, aimed at instilling a sense of national identity and patriotism, the youth training programme was later to be shrouded in controversy as cases of physical abuse and torture emerged.

Then opposition parties accused Mugabe’s government of training a militia that was indoctrinated in favour of Zanu PF.

Even to date the programme is hugely discredited by the public as graduates produced from the training camps are associated with violence and intimidation of opposition party supporters.

A report released in 2005 by the Solidarity Peace Trust revealed that the NYS cadets were being trained in paramilitary style and would readily unleash violence to those who opposed Zanu PF.

But the idea of bringing back the controversial programme whose graduates are commonly derided as “green bombers” is suffering a stillbirth as a broke government fails to inject funds.

“The ministry and the National Youth Service Association made up of alumni of the programme is in talks to try and source alternative funding to bring back the programme. It will not be compulsory. It will be a robust exercise where those who want to join can do so at their own free will,” said Zhuwao.

Previously, a national youth service certificate was critical for one to get employment as the Zanu PF-led government gave preference to those who were trained from the Border Gezi training camps — for employment in the public service much to the chagrin of opposition parties.

“There will be no strategies used to attract anyone who does not want to come. This programme is about empowerment not ulterior motives that people perceive.

“Only those with foolish tendencies will not attend a programme that seeks to empower them,” he said.

NYS graduate trainee and Mhondoro-Ngezi legislator Mike Gava said it was important for the association to regroup.

Gava said many youths in the remote areas of the country are in the habit of complaining and constantly blaming government.

“The youths should just accept the reality on the ground and not always find fault with government, without them trying to do anything.

“When there is a drought they blame government. Leadership hainayise mvura,” Gava said.

Comments (10)

hakuna mari yekutambisa zhuwawo.enda undorima.all youngsters want is jobs on the open market.these ideas yu have r stone age chinese .befo yu were born n they neva worked in china.they abandoned the idea.funga zvimwe uite homework 1st.ah.nhai

viola gwena - 30 December 2015

For what? patriotism without jobs, electricity and pay in December. Stuff it, they must focus on reviving the economy not reviving this unnecessary BS.

Umvukwesi - 30 December 2015

I will bet my last bond coin, zanu pf government would rather have "green bombers" than paying civil servants.

X-MAN IV - 30 December 2015

Why are they even thinking of this. It is madness. There is only ONE reason. 2018! May the Lord put a stop to all this nonsense. Zimbabwe needs to repent!

TruthBTold - 31 December 2015

i beg you all progressive zimbabweans, my fellow country man and woman, let me tell you. i have first hand info on this Alshabab or Boko Haram like behavior of the green bombers, stayed at Kamativi,where the green bombers were raping, torturing innocent souls, me being one of the victims. folks this has nothing to do with the so called patriotism,but Zanu pf,s rigging strategy through intimidating people .God help zimbabwe ,mark my works come 2017_2018 opposition supporters will be intimidated, tortured the South African xenophobia , and Isis way, to hell with the youth minister, we need jobs and government of the all zimbabweans not the Green bombers for selfish zanu,nxa- mani.

Cheenzyabula - 31 December 2015

Any program that is hatched in ZPF without public debate is evil and meant to prop those who want power at all costs. Gullible Zimbos are used and tossed around. Wake up mhani?

Okech - 31 December 2015

the youth ministry is a SHAME. ABANDON IT MHANIN. its a strategy for zpf to rig elections sure. they are busy training the youngester so they help them protect what they looted. the youngesters are to be patrotic so that they do not question why, what and where. they sld always say yes yes yes. did zhuwao evaluate what production the trained bombers ever brought. to hell with the idea. civil servants need money, roads are bad, no medicine in hosptals zhuwao think mhani.

jojo - 1 January 2016

The first thing these trainee thugs will learn is the craft of theft and extortion. The sane public will naturally be their victims,

burrhead analyst - 1 January 2016

The first thing these trainee thugs will learn is the craft of theft and extortion. The sane public will naturally be their victims,

burrhead analyst - 1 January 2016

What does "empowerment" mean?

Magari Mandebvu - 2 January 2016

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