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Angeline Chivunze - Political Correspondent

In an article written by Itayi Mazire on Zimpapers entitled “87 years of love, peace and unity” for President Mugabe’s 87th birthday, he shares a lot about the president’s background highlighting mostly the positive stuff  that he has done over the years. Most of these were things that were done in the early 80s just after he came to power. True to form of any politician, this is a move to seal the deal. Fulfilling some of the promises you make during a campaign, to you, this strengthens the people’s belief in your ability to come through.

Mr Mazire mentions the intention of the Zanu PF youth league to have an educational and cultural movement for children who were too young to join the league. Apparently research was done and a document, which was amended accordingly so children could be taught to emulate the selfless life of Cde Mugabe was submitted to the Zanu PF Central Committee. These children were to be nurtured to grow up endowed with the spirit of sacrifice to the nation. Mugabe knew exactly what he was doing, starting them young. The long-term benefits of this program are now in full force as we see the violence and brutality brought about by the youth bred in these camps. He was and is continuing to build his cult movement . Instead of training them for civilised occupations as we are made to believe about these camps, they are trained for the unthinkable and become politicised and brutalised.

The youth militia members are trained in six-week sessions at four camps established by the government. Ostensibly they are doing their “national service” and learning skills to help the community, but witnesses tell a different story.

“They teach political orientation and history of the liberation struggle,” a young man who went to one camp said.

“They do teach some skills, like carpentry, but we did lots of military training and physical exercise. We learned songs. In military training we learned methods to interrogate and beat people.” The Guardian in 2003.

In January 2011, it was noted that more than 80 000 youth militia, war veterans and soldiers will be deployed across the country in an army-led drive to ensure victory for President Robert Mugabe in the next elections that,

An Extension Of The Army - Zimbabwe's Youth Militia

 according to investigations by ZimOnline, looks set to be the bloodiest election campaign ever to be witnessed in Zimbabwe. This clearly shows Zanu PF’s desperation to stay in power no matter what.

The UKBA conducted a Fact Finding Mission on Zimbabwe back in August 2010 and concluded that it was now safe to return failed asylum seekers to Zimbabwe. This FFM report could not have considered the possibility of this move by Zanu PF. Now that this information is now there and things like this are going on, how can it be said that the results of this mission still stand? The report by ZimOnline and other British tabloids including the BBC also states that war veterans who have taken part in previous Zanu PF campaigns will conduct all night meetings along with the youth militia which will be used to intimidate villagers and warn them of the dangers of voting for Tsvangirai. MDC supporters will be targeted as this remains Mugabe and Zanu PF’s biggest threat. Mugabe will do it all this time even if it means holding on to power by ginya. The way I see it, it will be the case of President Laurent Gbagbo of the Ivory Coast all over again. Having said that. President Mugabe has already shown signs of this when he refused to acknowledge the results of the 2008 elections. He knows full well that he will not win a free and fair election and that he will be tried for crimes against humanity the minute he steps down.

Lets all keep in mind the qoute below:

“The responsibility of a country is not in the hands of a privileged few. We are strong and free from tyranny as long as each of us remembers his or her duty as a citizen.

Whether it is to report a pothole at the top of your street or lies in a state union address, speak out – ask those questions – demand that truth. Democracy is not a free ride but this is our country and if we do our job, this is where our children will live.”

I guess the price of freedom is blood, but how much blood and how much more shall we continue to suffer at the hands of this tyrant?  We need to wise up a bit and start looking at what the other African nations are doing – demanding their freedom. Maybe we can do that too, who knows.

Lets help each other build the strength and courage we need to take back our country, we must remember that “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King Jnr said that more than 40 years ago and he wasn’t wrong either.