Youth Service Programme Revived in Zimbabwe

April 3, 2024
National Youth service border gezi | Report Focus News
National Youth service border gezi

The re-establishment of the Youth Service Programme in Zimbabwe, formerly known as the National Youth Service (NYS), has been announced by the government. The program is set to commence in June 2024, enrolling 750 youths from various parts of the country.

Jenfan Muswere, the Minister of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services, disclosed this development during a post-Cabinet briefing held in Harare on Tuesday, April 2nd. Tino Machakaire, the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Development, and Vocational Training, briefed the Cabinet on the details of the revival of the National Youth Service Programme.

Since the Cabinet’s resolution in 2021 to revive the National Youth Service program, significant progress has been made by the Ministry of Youth. Several milestones have been achieved, including the drafting of the National Youth Service Bill, the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Implementation Committee to oversee program implementation, and the development of a 6-month training program targeting youths aged between 18 and 35.

The training program, scheduled to commence in June 2024, will consist of three months of institutionalized training and three months of community attachment. Upon completion, participants will be issued certificates. The curriculum will incorporate national orientation, life skills training, and entrepreneurial development. New uniforms, signage, and logo have been designed for the program.

A total of 10,000 youths are earmarked to undergo training in 2024, drawn equally from all ten provinces of Zimbabwe. The recruitment process will be extended to incorporate youths from all wards and districts.

Under the revived program, graduates will receive priority in employment, enrollment in public sector institutions, higher education institutions, and tertiary education. They will also be given preference for financial support to establish new projects and businesses.

The program, however, faces criticism both domestically and internationally. Previously, graduates of the National Youth Service were derogatorily referred to as “Green Bombers” due to their distinctive fatigue uniforms and their association with violence. The program was also linked to gross human rights violations, with participants allegedly involved in torture, harassment, and intimidation of political opponents, particularly in rural areas.