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Revival of ‘Green Bombers’ training set for June; 10 000 to undergo indoctrination in 2024 

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By Staff Reporter


PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is finalising modalities for the revival of training of Youth Service in Zimbabwe (YSZ) cadres, with the initial batch set to start indoctrination classes in June.

Formerly known as the National Youth Service (NYS), the programme has been renamed YSZ.

Previously, graduates of the NYS, derogatorily referred to as ‘Green Bombers’ due to their uniforms’ colour theme, were a feared Zanu PF militia that underwent training at what used to be called Border Gezi, named after the then militant youth minister, who is now late.

Political observers claim Mnangagwa, who is rumoured to be plotting a third-term campaign bid for the presidency, which is unconstitutional, intends to use the Green Bombers to suppress any dissenting voices.

Confirming the curiously timed re-establishment of the dreaded youth militia, Information Minister, Jenfan Muswere, on Tuesday told journalists in Harare that tremendous progress has been made towards the revival.

“Since the Cabinet decision in 2021 to re-establish the National Youth Service Programme, some progress has been registered by the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training.

“Achievements to date include: the National Youth Service Bill is being drafted following the approval of the Principles in August 2023; establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Implementation Committee to oversee the implementation of the programme; the development of a six-month training programme which will target youths between the ages of 18 and 35,” said Muswere.

The Minister of Youth Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training, Tino Machakaire is overseeing the return of the infamous indoctrination exercise viewed as part of Zanu PF’s terror machinery.

The programme, which covers three months of institutionalised training and three months of community attachment, will commence in June 2024 with an enrolment of 750 youths across the country.

“Those who undergo the training will be issued with certificates on completion of the programme; the new curriculum will infuse national orientation with life skills training and entrepreneurial development.”

Muswere noted that plans are at an advanced stage with new uniforms, signage and logo having been designed and soon to be registered.

A total of 10 000 youths, drawn from all the country’s provinces, are earmarked to undergo training this year alone, while recruitment will be cascaded to incorporate young people in all wards and districts.

To be able to feed the multitudes of enrolled youths, all training centres are expected to fully utilise available land and engage in commercial production units for self-sustenance.

In a bid to promote uptake of the YSZ programme which is likely to face resistance, particularly in urban areas where the opposition enjoys support, Mnangagwa’s administration says graduates will be given first preference for jobs in the civil service, enrollment at tertiary colleges and getting loans to start business ventures.

“Going forward, youths who complete training will receive priority in employment and enrolment into public sector and higher and tertiary education institutions, and will be prioritised for financial support to establish new projects and businesses,” added Muswere.