Youth Minister Kirsty Coventry has said her ministry plans to revitalise the National Youth Service program giving it a whole new look to ensure it meets international best practice.

The National Youth Service is famed for producing youths who are often referred to as “Green Bombers or Taliban’’ due to their violent nature that was exhibited during the past elections.

There was also no distinction on whether it was a Zanu PF or a national program as the graduates from the service were often seen at the ruling party offices and participating in its programs.

Speaking to the Portfolio Committee on Youth, Sports, Arts and Culture, Minister Coventry said the program is meant to equip youths with life skills.

“The youth service is a program where our youth, specifically for the ministry we will be focusing on out of school youths from the ages of 15 -35 where we will provide them with life education skills, trainings and workshops.

“We are revitalising what was the program, with a completely new program and way to move forward. This is being done in many different countries around the world in the US, Israel, Germany, Tanzania and in Zambia, and it works very well,” she said.

National Youth Service was introduced in Zimbabwe by the late Border Gezi in 2000 and was mostly used to perpetrate violence on opposition supporters ahead of the crucial 2002 Presidential election.

Kirsty Coventry

Kirsty Coventry

This was necessitated by the dismal performance by Zanu PF in the 2000 Parliamentary elections where they almost lost the Parliamentary majority to MDC.

open parly