16 June 2017

Zimbabwe: Angry Donors Abandon Government Training Centre Over Border Gezi Training

Photo: New Zimbabwe
Border Gezi youth militia (file photo).

Marondera — Mount View College, a government-run youth vocational training centre is reported to have lost some of its key donors after it stopped providing training in various courses to cater for the controversial national youth service.

However, officials at the college have denied running the controversial programme which is better known as Border Gezi, after the late youth minister who launched it.

College principal, Patrick Karambwe, said media reports about Border Gezi training had adversely impacted operations as donors were no longer willing to fund the centre.

"Recently, we encountered published lies from the private media that our vocational training institute has closed technical training for militia training," Karambwe said.

"These are lies peddled by the private media with a hidden agenda to tarnish the vocational training centre's image.

"Sponsors have even withdrawn their sponsorship as result of the adverse media reports."

Karambwe would not name the donors who have pulled out, Karambwe but said the centre had increased its intake and the number of courses provided in 2017.

"As an institution, we are even gearing to offer more courses so that youths are equipped with self-sustaining skills, not (the lies) peddled from the private media that we are offering militia training sessions," said Karambwe.

However, despite the principal's denials, sources at the centre insisted that the college is providing militia training to 100 youths every month.

Patrick Zhuwao, President Robert Mugabe's nephew, is the youth affairs minister.

The national youth militia training, was revived early this year after a seven year-break due to funding constraints.

During his birthday celebrations in Matobo this year, Mugabe called for revival of the Border Gezi programme, sparking fears that the trained youths will be used as storm troopers by Zanu PF ahead of the 2018 elections.

"There must be a National Youth Service. I don't know why we have slowed on this one. We certainly must start the National Youth Service programme," said Mugabe in February.

Zimbabwe will hold general elections next year, hence suspicion and concern that Mugabe's call might be a way of ensuring the activation of terror groups.

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