So, ZANU PF youths are prepared to work as slaves!

The ruling ZANU PF has always had some of the most bizarre and ludicrous understanding of issues - and, there are no signs of this trend ever ending any time in the foreseeable future.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana


The latest, in a string of these stranger than fiction beliefs, was the recent resolution by the party’s youth league for the government to only employ card-carrying individuals, who would be graduates of its notorious National Youth Service program.

This clearly corrupt, illegal, and unprofessional manner of recruiting employees by the government was touted as promoting “patriotism” – since, these card-carrying civil servants would never exercise their constitutionally-enshrined rights, such as collective job action, peaceful demonstrations, and petitioning.

In other words, as “patriotic” workers – ZANU PF-aligned teachers, nurses, police officers, members of the security forces, and so many others in various departments are more than happy and willing to work for virtually nothing (considering the slave wages that the country’s civil servants have been earning ever since the advent of the so-called “new dispensation”, which reintroduced the freefalling local currency).

Surely, is that the definition of a “patriot”?

Is a “patriot” one who is prepared to be abused, used, and misused by the ruling elite – whilst, those in power enjoy the lavishness of the nation’s resources, yet hardworking government workers are abandoned to wallow in abject poverty – without raising any objections, or standing up for his rights?

Is this not the message being made abundantly clear by the ZANU PF youth league?

Wow, I wonder what would have become of the country had we had such spineless blinded youth – who see absolutely nothing wrong with being oppressed, but actually perceive docility and subservience as some twisted and perverse form of patriotism – had this been during the colonial period!

I am sure Ian Douglas Smith would have loved these young people – who would have enabled his repressive and discriminatory regime to operate with impunity, and remain unmolested till kingdom come.

I am still trying to figure out what was the real motivation behind the ruling party’s youth league issuing such undeniably absurd statements.

Could this be a mere case of licking the boots of those in power, so as to curry favor?

Or, possibly, these are young men and women who are unemployed, languishing in poverty – and, having realized the emptiness and mediocrity of the party and government’s so-called “empowerment programs” – now are desperate for employment opportunities, preferably in the civil service, as that is where their chances for recruitment are higher, due to ZANU PF’s influence over those in authority?

Quite frankly, I feel the second hypothesis makes more sense to me – as, the sad, deplorable, and impoverished state of most of these youth proves that they would do anything for a means of survival.

What I find particularly disconcerting, though, is why these young people would feel that it should be normalized for the country’s citizens to accept being oppressed as alright, and docility as a form of patriotism!

If, for argument’s sake, these card-carrying members were, indeed, recruited as civil servants – are they telling us that they would be content and satisfied with earning an average monthly salary of ZW$30,000 – when the latest figures, for April 2022, showing that, the food poverty datum line (FPL) for one person was now at a staggering ZW$8,366, and total consumption poverty line at an unbelievable ZW$11,363?

Let us note that these figures only cover basic food necessities – at the exclusion of rental or rates, utilities, clothing, school fees, transport, and numerous other needs, and wants.

I am not sure how good these ZANU PF youth’s arithmetic is, but surely how do they expect to fend for themselves, and their families with such meagre earnings?

We all know that the government of Zimbabwe is unwilling to award its employees a meaningful decent living wage – preferably, reverting to the US$540 of October 2018, or at the very least, the equivalent at the prevailing exchange rate – so, why are these party youth apparently ready to work as slaves?

Or, is it because that is what they term “patriotism”?

If that is the ZANU PF definition – possibly, as taught at these National Youth Service training centers – then, I praise my Jehovah God Almighty, that I never attended such institutions, and be brainwashed with a slave mentality!

Some of us in Zimbabwe are self-respecting individuals, who know their rights, and will never compromise them for whatever reason – but, will fight for them at whatever cost.

Our dignity is an unalienable right that can never, or should never, be sacrificed on the altar of some warped and distorted understanding of “patriotism” – yet, those in power living in vulgar opulence (largely, from the plunder of what should be our shared resources), in the midst of indescribable poverty and suffering.

True patriotism is courageously standing up against ruthless greedy leaders, regardless of the consequences – in order for the majority of the country’s people to enjoy what is deservedly there’s!

© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936 / +263733399640, or email: [email protected]


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