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Mugabe's torture camps shut down
A BBC film accused President Mugabe of turning youths into political zombies

Film maker held over BBC documentary

BBC film exposes Mugabe torture camps

Mugabe trains 18 000 youths

By Agencies

ABOUT 10 national youth service training centres countrywide will fail to operate due to financial constrains, the Minister of Youth Development, Gender and Employment Creation, Brigadier Ambrose Mutinhiri has said.

Mutinhiri told the Daily Mirror newspaper that the affected 10 consist of both those that had been functioning since the inception of the programmes as well as others the government had intended to open this year.

The minister added that the centres had not been totally shut down as staff were still manning them awaiting the availability of resources to bring back students.
Mutinhiri could not however provide the actual figures of those that were supposed to make a first intake and the others that had failed to reopen.

“Participation in this training is voluntary, it is not mandatory and if there are any institutions that demand certificates of national service as a prerequisite for any courses, they will be doing so on their own accord as we have not issued a directive to that effect.

But I must say that this training is good as it helps in moulding a good citizen,” said Mutinhiri.

On claims that cabinet ministers and other high ranking government officials were not sending their own children to participate in the training scheme, the minister said in his personal capacity he was working on the process of having his own children inducted, adding that comprehensive information on officials whose children had participated would be released in due course.

At least 18 180 young men and women have graduated since the launch of the programme.

According to government statistics, three quarters of them have found occupations in different government departments.

The international media, with the BBC at the forefront, has repeatedly charged that the training institutions are torture camps aimed at holding the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) at bay. Government critics have said the products of the training centres are being used to harass political opponents of the ruling party.

The government has dismissed this, with the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa, declaring early this month that even in the face of lack of finance, the government would never abandon the training camps.
From the Daily Mirror

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