NYDT’s position on introduction of National Youth Service from crèche

The leadership and membership of the National Youth Development Trust received with unreserved dismay the Ministry of Youth’s proposal to (re) introduce National Youth Service (NYS) from crèche (Newsday 15/01/2011). The move is an unruly violation of the rights of the children and youths who need access to basic services and employment opportunities rather than being incorporated into a partisan paramilitary training.
The most touted raison d’etre for the training program is that it is an attempt at cultivating a sense of patriotism amongst young people by teaching them patriotic history. It is in light of this that NYDT asks, What is this patriotic history? and to whom is it patriotic?. The behavior of graduates of previous National youth training program has proved that this so called teaching of patriotic history is an excuse by ZANU PF to indoctrinate young people for use as campaign tools and violence machinery.
The timing for the re-introduction of the NYS is also suspicious. What makes it even more suspicious is the urgency and clandestine nature with which the Ministry of youth is prepared to start implementation. The re-introduction comes barely a few months after the ZANU PF conference through which it resolved to immediately target young people and “lure” them to join the party and prepare it for elections which could be held anytime this year, hence this urgent need to re-introduce the national Youth service training program. ZANU PF is fully aware of the fact that their ‘Chimurenga’ generation has reached sunset years and will not be energetic enough in the next election hence the urgent need to replace it with a young, brain-washed and para-military trained generation. It seeks to sustain its militarilisation of politics and guaranteeing a generational continuity of the ‘Chimurenga’ generation by recruiting and indoctrinating young people through such programs as NYS.

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