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Mnangagwa resuscitates ‘Green Bombers’ youth training

By Staff Writer

 PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has ignited the National Youth Service Training to life, in a development which citizens fear may return the country to the old days of youth militia activivities.

Previously known as the Border Gezi Youth service training as a programme of the Zimbabwean government for Zimbabweans of ages 10 to 30.

 It was introduced in 2000 by Border Gezi—then the Minister for Gender, Youth and Employment—and the first training camp was established at Mount Darwin in 2001.] Its stated purpose was to “transform and empower youths for nation building through life skills training and leadership development.

However, the program was  condemned in the West and in Africa for gross human rights violations on behalf of the ZANU-PF party.

But Mnangagwa this week re launched the program , claiming that it was a totally new exercise which has significantly departed from the past controversies.

 “This day must remind you as youth that Africa’s independence did not come on a silver platter. Many sons and daughters lost their lives during the fight against the brutal colonial rule of smith.

“We are independent because of our brothers and sisters who fought for our freedom. Now your duty as youth is to protect and guard our independence. You must work hard to develop, modernise and industrialise our economy.

“The youths of yesterday fought for our freedom. Now you must make them proud by working hard to develop our country. It’s your turn now!”

He also urged the youths to embrace the controversial programme which he said was a continuation of the fight for their emancipation.

Speaking at the same occasion, Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga said Zimbabwe was privileged to have a leader who is determined to create innovators among the youth.

 “Zimbabwe has made tremendous strides in prioritising investments in youth developments to unlock the potential of our youth,” he said.

Youth Empowerment, Development and VTCs minister Tino Machakaire pleaded with Mnangagwa to avail loans to the recruits on completion of their training.

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