Mugabe wants youth militia for 2018

Charles Mabhena

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has expressed worry over his party’s lack vigilance in making sure that the college that churns out youth militias ‘the National Youth Service’ (NYS) is prioritised and demands it should be instituted as matter of urgency.

Addressing people who attended his birthday party in Matopo, the President called for the re-introduction of his thugs’ training camps saying a lot of youths were now lacking discipline because of lack of proper indoctrination.

“We certainly must start the National Youth Service programme, I do not know why we have slowed down on this one,” he said.

Mugabe’s recent call for NYS programme comes at the time most youths in his party were now fed up with his overstaying in power, and failure to anoint a successor. Mugabe views this act by youths as wayward, unpatriotic, and lack of discipline.

Most recently, former Mashonaland Central ZANU PF youths leader, Geodfrey Tenengamu held a press conference where he called for Mugabe to step down and let Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa take over. He was arrested and is facing charges of insulting the President by calling for him to pass on the baton stick.

Mugabe has over the years used NYS graduates to terrorise and intimidate civilians against voting for opposition parties. These foot soldiers have also been used in attacking persons believed to be members of opposition parties, setting up their homes on fire.

The United States of America ambassador to Zimbabwe Henry Thomas Jr has few months ago saw it coming, and said his country was aware of Mugabe’s plans to use thugs and political violence to win elections, and said that this was not to be accepted.

Speaking at a party to commemorate the smooth handing over of power from former US president Barack Obama to president Donald Trump held in Harare recently, Thomas said his country was watchful of Mugabe’s plans to use violence.

“The US is aware of President Robert Mugabe’s plans to use violence in the pending elections.

“Violence and intimidation cannot be tolerated, and has never been used elsewhere in the world in attaining free and fair elections,” he said.

Thomas said his government will work with all institutions in the country that work towards the democratic handling of elections.