President Robert Mugabe has ordered Zimbabwe’s cash-strapped government to reinstate 2,000 youth linked to the ruling Zanu PF party, who were retrenched due to lack of funds, saying the move was made without cabinet approval.
Speaking at a so-called Presidential Youth Interface Rally in Chinhoyi, Mashonaland West, on Saturday, Mr. Mugabe said members of the Zanu PF Youth League have cried foul over the retrenchments.
The president said Zimbabwe has enough resources to cater for the needs of these youth believed to be a backbone of the ruling party, especially during elections.
According to the state-controlled Herald newspaper, Mr. Mugabe said it was unacceptable for the government to retrench the youth
“We have not been told about this issue … and we don’t accept things like that,” said the 93-year-old Zimbabwean leader.
He claimed that Zimbabwe’s economy is recovering and therefore there was no need to retrench the youth, who are known as youth and gender officers and are mainly based in rural areas where they campaign for Zanu PF.
Villagers have over the years claimed that the youth terrorize them during elections. This has been dismissed by the ruling party as untrue and machinations of opposition parties to discredit youth linked to Zanu PF.
The International Monetary Fund and other international finance institutions recommended that Zimbabwe should trim its civil service, which gobbles at least 80 percent of the country’s national budget.