YOUTH, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment minister, Patrick Zhuwao has invited opposition parties and human rights organisations to raise their concerns over the National Youth Service (NYS) programme with him.
Source: Zhuwao invites opposition parties over Border Gezi youths – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 3, 2017
by STEPHEN CHADENGA
Opposition and human rights activists often accuse the programme, a brain child of the late Zanu PF national commissar, Border Gezi, of producing Zanu PF militias terrorising people during election times.
But Zhuwao defended the programme saying it was provided for in the Constitution, before challenging the opposition to come to his office with evidence proving graduates of the programme were engaging in human rights abuses.
“Opposition parties should come to me to complain, if they have anything to talk about (national youth service),” Zhuwao said on the sidelines of the Midlands provincial youth expo in Gweru yesterday.
“I want to be able to engage them and not this futile conversation through the media. I know there was something said by ZPP (Zimbabwe Peace Project), I will engage them directly so that I can understand their concerns and so that they can also understand what the youth service is all about.”
He said the fact that he was Zanu PF did not mean that the programme was a ruling party project.
Zhuwao said everyone, regardless of political affiliation, was welcome to join the youth service, which he claimed was a national programme meant to instil discipline and national pride in youths.
“The Constitution provides that the national youth service programme should be conducted in a non-partisan manner,” he said.
Addressing guests at his 93rd birthday celebrations in Matobo last Saturday, President Robert Mugabe promised to re-launch the NYS programme saying the training, was slowing down.