People's Militia (Zimbabwe)

Country: Zimbabwe
Details of Formation: In 1982, Mugabe announced that adults will be given military training in order to form the People’s Militia forces.
Details of Termination: Allegedly dissolved due to budget cuts in 1993. Around 12,000 members were sacked within 2 months.
Purpose: The group was stated to be trained purely for defensive purposes. They were intended to safeguard Zimbabwe’s sovereignty and shield them from internal and external enemies by working with the police and army. Along with Zimbabwean troops, they were stationed in Mozambique to protect vital railroads, highways and oil pipelines from rebel sabotage. The People’s Militia is said to have successfully carried out their mission.
Organisation: Deputy Minister of Defence, Comrade William Ndangana, is responsible for the paramilitary training of the People’s Militia.
Weapons and Training: Training of civilians was planned to be conducted in villages throughout the country during weekends. They are trained in the use of weapons ranging from rifles to anti-aircraft batteries. Youths were to receive vocational and military training in centres established by the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Recreation. According to Deputy Minister of Defence, Comrade Ndangana, recruits were scrutinised to ensure that only loyal people would undergo training. One source claims that the group was initially trained by North Korean instructors.
Size: In September 1983, 4,000 people were already trained. The government intended to train up to 8,000 recruits before the end of that year. In 1986, one report suggests that 25,000 members of the People’s Militia are undergoing training.
Reason for Membership: no information
Treatment of Civilians: Although no further details are given, the group was repeatedly accused of human rights abuses. It has allegedly killed around 20.000 people in the Eighties.
Other Information: The People’s Militia were also called the Fifth Brigade
References: Information was taken from news sources listed in the PGMD