Zimbabwe to increase controversial camps

Nov. 13, 2004 at 9:28 PM

HARARE, Zimbabwe, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- The Zimbabwean government has announced plans to set up more youth camps in the run-up to elections scheduled for March.

The youth minister said the number of the controversial camps would rise from six to 10, the BBC reported Saturday.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change said the camps are used to train young people to intimidate government opponents. They said the youth program is being expanded to purposefully proceed the parliamentary elections.

"These new camps are simply meant to ensure the further militarization of elections in Zimbabwe," said Tendai Biti, an opposition member of parliament.

"They are meant to ensure that the opposition, the MDC, does not have access to those provinces where the new bases will be set up," Biti said.

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