‘Don’t force school children to attend rallies’

A High Court ruling has barred Zanu PF from forcing school children and teachers to attend its rallies and party activities, ahead of the make-or-break elections on July 30.

Tinashe Kairiza

Initially, Zanu PF had tried to stop the hearing of the matter, citing “technicalities in the application”, but the court ruled that the case was urgent. The ruling, delivered by Justice Joseph Mafusire at the Masvingo High Court yesterday, comes barely a week after a bomb exploded during a Zanu PF rally at White City Stadium in Bulawayo.
Hordes of school children were forced to attend the rally which was addressed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The bomb blast left two people dead, while several others were injured.

According to a statement released by the Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), which dragged Zanu PF to court in a bid to stop the practice, the party was also prohibited from using school facilities and properties to further its “political interests”.

Zanu PF and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education were listed as the respondents. ARTUZ was represented by Douglas Coltart of Mtetwa and Nyambirai Law Firm which was engaged by Veritas.

“The court wholesomely adopted ARTUZ recommendations that: school children should not be forced to attend rallies. Political parties should not use school property such as buses to pursue private political interests,” ARTUZ wrote.

“Teachers should not be forced to fund and participate in private political processes.”

An interim court interdict was granted in the presence of both respondents.

Zanu PF has over the years established a culture of forcing school children and teachers to attend rallies, disrupting classes in the process. It has become a norm for schoolchildren to recite poems or sing songs praising Zanu PF leaders. During former president Robert Mugabe’s 37-year hold on power, school children were forced to attend rallies and the practice has continued on Mnangagwa’s watch.

In most cases children have to contend with harsh weather conditions as they are forced to wait for hours in the blazing heat. In some cases children are subjected to rain or the cold.

27 thoughts on “‘Don’t force school children to attend rallies’”

  1. Uncle Sam says:

    author Tinashe Kairidza, watumwa naani kunyora nyaya iyi..why are you destroying your career nezvinhu zvisngaiti
    LOOK AT YOUR PICTURE KUTI NDERE KARE KU RALLY YAMUGABE WOZOIISA TODAY UCHITI ” dont force school children to attend rallies.

  2. flame says:

    children are the future youths of tomorrow they should know gwara remusangano plus they are not being forced they attend at their own will

    1. Cde White says:

      there is no such thing like school childen being forced to attend rallies. usually those chjildren who will be there will be participating in things like entertainment and the national anthem

      1. riot 263 says:

        active child participation does not necessarily mean one is into politics….people with shallow minds tend to be problematic sometimes…. this story is really misleading

        1. virus vigoroso says:

          this is just but a statement full of mere propaganda… i think journalists have to gather facts which are genuine first before publishing misleading information

          1. kokerai chisvo says:

            as far as one can be concerned, from the look of things, there was no presence of any school children except for a little girl who recited a poem….. this headline is simply biased and misleading

  3. blade zvichapera says:

    facts are stubborn.., evidence is ample. learn to publish real stuff

    1. Cde Dombo says:

      These are just fabrications that ZANUPF is forcing students to attend rallies.MDC Alliance had once been in Gokwe when it invaded the Nembudziya High School and school children were forced to attend the rally.Those who are saying its ZANUPF are very wrong.Those people must visit their mental faculties.

      1. Dzimbabwe says:

        The court must not dwell on ZANUPF .It must act as a court with authority to stop MDC from forcing children.ZANUPF has a clean sheet.

        1. Kamba says:

          Ko Chamisa akazowana mukadzi wake anechikomba boys ka.Chamisa haatonge nyika anotadza mhuri yake boys.

          1. April Tafi says:

            ZANU PF has never used school children to attend rallies .It is a democratic party nothing is like that.The MDC should be logical though we respect courts.

  4. Zvichapera says:

    Farly so MDC is the one doing such nonsense ,It is failing to mobilise its people .It must stop its unlawful acts.

    1. Pande says:

      The pupils will never be forced or coersed to join their family members to rally.The young people are the verry active ones to partcipate in rally for they have energy to do so.Attending rally is different from voting.

  5. Pande says:

    The school students was not forced to attend rallies because they are following their family members there.The reason why you put old pics of Mugabe regime shows that you want to put Mnangagwa adminstration in the same blanket with Mugabe it became a problem.Don’t put Mnangagwa and Mugabe in the same blanket.

    1. Aladin Aladin says:

      There is no problem with school children to attend political rallies.There is no under age in attending rallies even babies they will be carried at their mother’s back.We always witnessing school children at all political parties do not point your finger at one political party.

      1. Blade says:

        Teachers they have the right to choose their political party without being forced.What is of intrest is our President is always preach peace and unity.

        1. Murenga says:

          We are the school children and we want to let our voice be heard by everyone and we are going to continue attending all rallies we want to attend noone is going to stop us.

          1. Cde Masango says:

            If the constitution says someone about who should attend then let us know

  6. Grace Mogo says:

    Chamisa is a confused person because he always laments on every move taken by either Zanupf or ZEC.He must stay chill.

    1. Murenga says:

      Actually saying school children are being forced to attend rallies is a complete lie because they go on their own to meet with their President,those against that are against the rights and will of the students.

      1. django django says:

        1 + 1 = 3 I dont care

        1. Madikizela says:

          School children falls under youth so it is necessary for them to attend rallies and they have to contribute towards the development of our country

  7. Yohwe says:

    Look at all the rubbish ZanuPFools are saying. Why jump to defend.

  8. kid marongorongo says:

    these papers lie a lot they refer to the old regime pics nxaaaa you think readers are fools you want to raise false alarms. you are too shallow.

  9. Mutape says:

    Very Stupid Cdes, Esau Mupfumi is actually in this business of moving school per school in Mutare grabbing buses, kids and teachers hence forcing them to attends ZANU PF rallies whom do you think you’re fooling Cdes a school going kid and his /her teacher must not be dragged/ disturbed attending school activities simply because ZANU PF or any other political party is conducting a rally, If i may ask to whose benefit mamisanai nemabhambo ndimi makada zvekubisana nechisimba ask schools in Mutare and Manicaland school buses are simply given an order to follow every ZANU PF rally, stop talking nonsense pliz the the High Court Judge did a splendid job to stop criminal surrounding the President.

  10. Sagitarr says:

    I didn’t know that Zimbabwe had so many idiots. Children must not be used by ANY political party (mine and my relatives’ will not attend any). If you want your children to be brainwashed, it’s your stupid choice. Voters and political participants need to be 18 years r above to vote. How difficult is this for the dimwits to digest?

  11. Maonazvangu says:

    Sagitarr do not crack yoor head over the dimwits for they are all Zanu PF supporters and they do not know how the media operates. Most are harping on about the picture which is a file picture. That is not the issue. The issue is that ZANU PF railroads school kids to rallies and l remember one kid who was made to recite a poem belittling the late MCD-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai. That is despicable to say the least to saw seeds of hatred and intolerance into innocent children! The ruling is landmark and spot on as it protects the rights of children and teachers.

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