Opposition parties have expressed fears that Zimbabwe could be facing a violent election period in 2018 after President Mugabe called for the reintroduction of the National Youth Service (NYS). Members of the NYS programme are disparagingly referred to as “Green Bombers” and were introduced by Border Gezi and became notorious due to allegations of them using violence and intimidation to campaign for ZanuPF.
Opposition MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu, said:
These young thugs are the storm troopers of the Zanu PF regime. They are the modern-day equivalent of Adolf Hitler’s Gestapo. The whole idea is to intimidate and unleash violence on the innocent and toiling masses of Zimbabwe, particularly in rural areas. When Mugabe once boasted that he has got degrees in violence, he wasn’t joking. He was damn serious,
People’s Democratic Party spokesperson, Jacob Mafume
This is a murderous programme in which youths are indoctrinated to be violent and abusive. It is a watered down version of the Fifth Brigade targeting the whole country. People will be beaten, killed and abused by those youths.
ZimpF spokesperson, Jealousy Mawarire said.
What we do not need are people investing in militias, in merchants of violence in order to win elections. The government should get its priorities right and put the interests of the people first,