Zanu (PF) deploys youth militia

green_bombersHARARE Zanu (PF) has deployed youth militias and war veterans to rural schools where they have set up bases in an attempt to cow teachers into supporting the party which has seen its political influence diminish since the formation of Zimbabwes coalition government four months ago, a teachers union said last week. (Pictured: ZANU (PF) youth militias d

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) said the Zanu (PF) militia bases have re-emerged in Goromonzi, Masvingo and Mount Darwin since schools reopened in May.

The militias are threatening the teachers in these areas to join Zanu (PF) and to propagate the partys policies and philosophies in the classroom, PTUZ president Takavafira Zhou told the Zimbabwean on Sunday.

He said officials from his union had visited some of the affected schools and spoke to some of the militias who pretended the bases were party offices.

The union leader said one of the schools was Chikarudzo Primary School near Morgenster Mission in Masvingo.

Youths and war veterans have been an important cog in the Zanu (PF) election machinery, often used to intimidate the partys opponents.

The youth bases were used as launch pads for Zanu (PF) attacks against MDC supporters before and during last years violence-marred presidential election run-off between President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morga Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai eventually withdrew from the polls, citing intimidation of his supporters.

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