The youths were drawn from Dimbe, Dhirihori and Masikana Schools in Chief Svosve area. Most of the recruits, who completed the course last Saturday, were aged around 14 years.
We were forced to suspend school lessons and embark on the police auxiliary training. I wonder how I will make up for school time lost while attending the youths training program. Though parents were initially made to believe that the exercise was voluntary, there was some cohesion in some instances, said a 15 year-old participant.
Last week Marondera resembled an army garrison as the militant youths went through military drills at Rudhaka Stadium and jogged across town shouting war cries.
This is how Zanu (PF) militia and Youth Brigades were introduced into communities. How can 60 per cent of school children in rural areas receive semi-military training under the guise of police youth call training. This is militarization of rural areas ahead of 2011 general elections. Mugabe may have good intentions with the exercise, but given political polarization in the country, eventual side effects of the training may turn out to be catastrophic for the nation, said a senior resident, Shadreck Ngwenya of Dombotombo suburb.
One of the instructors said he was not privy to any hidden agenda behind the training as they were instructed to conduct the program without asking questions.
The training is a nation wide exercise to educate youths about criminal acts and how to apprehend criminals. Graduates will be given preference should they apply to join the police force. Since we are training huge numbers, the training scheme would be conducted once a year, said the instructor on condition of anonymity.
Concerned residents and parents expressed fear the youths could be turned into terror machines, given Zanu (PF)s propensity to eliminate deserting voices.
If politicians order juveniles to torch villages, they comply without reasoning. They are a handy destructive tool at the disposal of Mugabe, observed another resident.Post published in: Politics