- The "Border Gezi" youths were notorious for unleashing violence against Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC supporters in the early 2000s.
By Mutsa Makuvaza
THIS is a news headline that can fit into any newspaper in the period 2001 to 2013. But no, it’s a 2020 November news story.
Leaders of the opposition National Patriotic Front (NPF) say they have put in place plans to use graduates of the notorious Border Gezi Youth Training Camps to coordinate the party’s campaigns for impending by-elections.
Formed on the eve of the 2018 elections, the NPF is led by former Minister Eunice Sandi-Moyo amd draws heavily on the voters’ sympathy with the Robert Mugabe family.
The party’s Bulawayo provincial political commissar, Andifasi Banda, said they will field candidates in polls that were put on ice following the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
“We have started organising our structures in preparation for the by-elections which we anticipate being called any time from now.
“We are going to field candidates in all the wards and constituencies. We have not been doing much activity because of the Covid-19 restrictions,” he said in an interview with an online publication.
Banda said some graduates of National Youth Service (NYS) will be coordinating the party’s campaigns.
The NYS programme, launched by the late Youth Minister Border Gezi in 2001, was introduced with the aim of drilling revolutionary and patriotic ideologies into the country’s young citizens.
The “Border Gezi” youths were notorious for unleashing violence against Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC supporters in the early 2000s.
NPF won only one seat – Kwekwe central – in the 2018 elections as the battle turned out to be mainly between Zanu-PF and the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance.
However, the NPF sole candidate in Parliament, Masango Matambandzo, would not live to see out his full term as he died in July this year, paving the way for by-elections in Kwekwe central. – Zimbabwe Voice ■