With recent public celebrations held in Zimbabwe, the festivities featured plays by young schoolchildren rife with the latent themes of violence present in the ruling party’s borderline fascist ideologies. These were preceded by a political speech made by a Zanu-PF war veteran.
As the national elections approach, President Robert Mugabe’s ruling party, the Zanu-PF has, in various areas of the country, initiated a subtle campaign of propaganda using the highly effective and symbolic tool of drama to disseminate party propaganda, as in this case, to indoctrinate party sentiments in future generations.
The children in the play re-enact dramatic bush warfare scenes of dissidents being gunned down between party slogans damning any opposition, in this case, the MDC.
As history has shown, the indoctrination of an autocratic regime’s youth is the first step to maintaining power through fear and oppression learned at a young age. In the case of Zimbabwe, the political aspirations of the ruling party threaten the education of many of Zimbabwe’s youth as a concerned father testifies to. This is evident with a UNICEF survey estimating that primary school attendance has dropped from 80% to 20% in the last few years following the 2008 elections.