Zanu PF youths detained in Kenya


Augustine Mukaro

ZIMBABWEAN aircraft passengers who were detained in Kenya this week were Zanu PF youths going to Libya for training, it has emerged.



“Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Sources in Zanu PF said the 57 passengers were drawn from Zanu PF youth structures throughout the country and were heading for the north African country’s capital Tripoli for a training programme.


Information officials at the ruling party’s headquarters yesterday confirmed that the delegation was made up of provincial youth leadership going to learn about youth activities in Libya.


“It’s an ongoing inter-party exchange programme,” a Zanu PF information official said.


“Youth leadership from all our 10 provinces would learn the youth activities in Libya and that would be disseminated to our youths here.”


Libya has compulsory national youth service, including ideological tutoring.

Press reports on Wednesday said the Zimbabwean nationals aboard a Russian-made Ilyushin plane, flown by two Libyan pilots, were detained for allegedly overflying Kenyan airspace without authority. The passengers were detained at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for three days after the plane was intercepted by Kenya’s airforce.


Zanu PF officials said there was nothing wrong with Zimbabwe sending a delegation to Libya to acquire skills on self-reliance and patriotism.


“The Women’s League sent their delegation to explore business opportunities earlier on and this is actually the second delegation and there is nothing wrong with it,” the official said.


These developments come amid reports that Zanu PF militias hired to thwart the Movement for Democratic Change-led mass protests last week could have cost the ruling party as much as $60 million in payments.


The over 2 000 militiamen who camped at the Zanu PF headquarters building for the whole of last week are thought to have been paid $30 000 each on Saturday after their success in blocking MDC marches.


Zanu PF secretary for information Nathan Shamuyarira however denied that his party paid the youths.


The militias were bused from Mashonaland Central and East to help the uniformed forces to stop mass protests intended at forcing President Mugabe from office.

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