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YOUTHS REJECT NATIONAL SERVICE newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

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YOUTH organisations say they do not want to partake in the
National Youth Service (NYS) programme which they say is associated with
lawlessness and terror.

The youths, who took part in the NYS earned the moniker
“Green Bombers” after being turned into ruling Zanu PF party storm troopers and
used in violent election campaigns. They went through mandatory military and
rigorous Zanu PF ideology training.

Last month at a post-Cabinet media briefing by Information
and Publicity minister Monica Mutsvangwa, government announced that the
National Youth Service Policy Guiding Framework and National Youth Service
Implementation Matrix: 2021-25 had been approved.

Mutsvangwa said it was aimed at instilling core values,
which play an integral part in the moulding of a well-cultured and disciplined
youth.

But during a Twitter discussion this week on Open Parly by
the National Association of Youth Organisations (Nayo), an umbrella body of
local youth organisations, Youth Decide Zimbabwe and other youth participants,
said young people should not participate in the NYS if proper consultations
were not done.

The Twitter dialogue discussed the issue of National Youth
Service: A vehicle for nurturing youths or is it a terror training vehicle.

Nayo monitoring, evaluation, research and learning manager
MacDonald Munyoro said: “As young people we question the consultations that
happened between the Defence and the Ministry of Youth to decide on the
re-introduction of such a programme in Zimbabwe.”

Munyoro said if communities were to be consulted over the
issue, they would narrate how the NYS, implemented in 2000 and 2007, was
negatively perceived as a programme that produced youths schooled in violence.

“The chain of violations they left is marked in the lives
of Zimbabweans, and the motive of reintroducing them is questionable
considering that the country is about to reach election time.

“When Cabinet, through the minister of Information, made a
pronouncement that Cabinet had resolved to bring back the national youth
service programme, this evoked a lot of emotions from the youths across the
country because of what happened in the previous administration where there
were violations of people’s lives, and where we encountered the worst human
violations.”

Youth Decide Zimbabwe team leader Learnmore Munhangu added:
“Whenever we hear of the NYS, what comes to mind is violence, terrorisation and
intimidation of people.

“The time we heard that there were plans to re-introduce
it, we were very shocked because we know the nature of the NYS.

“They were used to attack their brothers and sisters, even
parents and the opposition. As young people, we are still shocked because we
were never consulted, we feel like the government is trying to do something for
itself on its own and call it the NYS.” Newsday




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