27 May 2018

Zimbabwe: Border Gezi Youths Roped in As Voter Educators

Marondera — The Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) has recruited as voter educators hundreds of Zanu PF-aligned youth officers in a move that has raised concern ahead of the 2018 elections.

Earlier this year, the youth officers who are popularly known as the Green Bombers or maBorder Gezi, because of the green uniforms they wear during training, were fired from work by the government. The late Border Gezi was a youth minister who introduced the youth militia training in 2000.

The youth officers were, however, controversially recalled last March in a move that was viewed as a move to prop up Zanu PF election campaign.

The government employs an estimated 4,000 workers as youth officers.

One youth confirmed that they had been engaged by ZEC to carry out a voter education exercise in Marondera.

"Every person employed as a youth officer in Marondera has been recruited by ZEC as a voter educator.

"We are moving around informing residents to go and check whether their names and identity documents are properly captured on the voters' roll," the youth said.

ZEC is only allowed to employ civil servants, mostly teachers, as polling agents ahead of an election.

However, in previous elections, the Zanu PF youth militia has been accused of terrorising and assaulting opposition supporters especially in the rural areas.

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