In Germany, Hitler allowed young men called the "brown shirts" to terrorize Jews and Christian groups opposing him.
In Ruanda it was these trained gangs of youth who did most of the killing.
The danger in Zimbabwe is that Mugabe will use them as a "last resort" to terrorize people, especially if the police or military start backing a coup.
Here is an old article on a church webpage from a group who visited Zim to make a film using the disguise of golfers...I'll post the parts about the gangs.
There is still a tendency to attribute state-sanctioned illegality, of which land seizures form a tiny proportion, to so-called war veterans. The real thugs are the young men (and some women) now being trained in the youth camps. This is a sinister and horrible phenomenon. As I understand it they are a development only of the last 18 months at most.
You can see these Green Bombers in every town. In their early twenties, they wear heavy boots and combat fatigues. They are responsible for a growing proportion of the killings, rapes and gratuitous violence aimed at the MDC opposition. They are on the road blocks and control the illegal supply of mealie meal, making giant profits
Effectively the Green Bombers form a private Zanu-PF army. Young people wishing to attend higher education are required to spend six months in youth camps. There they are indoctrinated in Zanu-PF ideology and taught to hate the MDC. They learn the techniques of state terrorism. They get access to food, status, money and (because rape goes unpunished) sex. They are told to inform against their parents and punished if they fail to do so.
Mugabe is directing his enmity inwards, against his own people, while in the 1930s Nazi aggression went outwards as well. Members of the government are beginning to talk the language of ethnic cleansing. This is what Didymus Mutasa, Zanu-PF organising secretary and a member of Robert Mugabe's politburo, said last August: 'We would be better off with only six million people, with our own people who support the liberation struggle. We don't want all these extra people.' The population of Zimbabwe is now about 12 million.
Already a mild form of genocide is under way: the constant attrition of state murder, the deliberate starvation of great masses of the people, the displacement of hundreds of thousands of farm workers to remote and inhospitable camps. The ingredients are nearly all in place for something altogether larger and more tragic. ...