Zanu PF campaign suffers body blow

ZANU PF’s campaign machinery suffered a body blow yesterday after the High Court ordered the ruling party to stop commandeering pupils to its rallies.

BY TATENDA CHITAGU

The court also ruled against the use of school premises, buses and furniture for political gatherings.

The landmark ruling by Masvingo High Court judge Justice Joseph Mafusire came hardly a week after a fatal explosion rocked President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s (pictured) Zanu PF rally at White City Stadium in Bulawayo, claiming two lives and seriously injuring 47 others among them Vice-President Kembo Mohadi.

The court ordered Zanu PF and Education minister Paul Mavima to immediately stop the practice of exposing schoolchildren to harsh political environments such as rallies.

The ruling, which also barred Zanu PF from forcing teachers to donate towards its functions, follows an application by the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) and its leader Obert Masaraure.

ARTUZ had argued that frogmarching pupils and students to political rallies exposed them to irreparable harm and contravened their rights.

“As I understand, the argument by the applicant’s counsel (Douglas Coltart), the activities complained of has been perpetrated through the agency of the second respondent who is a government minister and a senior official in the first respondent’s party. Several other pieces of evidence submitted show that the first respondent is guilty of such acts of misconduct,” the judge said.

“My decision today is premised on the requirements of an interim interdict which are well known.”

Justice Mafusire added: “The application is also entitled to relief if the harm is of a continuous nature and there is no other effective remedy to counter it. I am satisfied that the papers placed before me classically prove prima facie requirements of an interdict. I am satisfied that applicants have laid out a prima facie case of an interdict to restrain the first respondent of the conduct complained of mainly compelling children to attend its political functions, to compel teachers to donate or fund its functions, to commandeer school property like furniture, buses and premises for its political functions and the like. In the circumstances, the interim relief sought in terms of the draft order filed with this court today is hereby granted.”

Zanu PF lawyer, Nickel Mushangwe, who tried unsuccessfully to abrogate blame to Mavima, described the ruling as unfair and indicated that he would appeal the ruling after consulting with the ruling party.


He had argued that the judge should spare Zanu PF and only interdict Mavima since such a judgment against the ruling party would derail its election campaign ahead of the July 30 elections.

Mushangwe also expressed fears that the Press “will have a field day” over the ruling.

Mavima’s lawyer, Talent Udenge, from the Attorney-General’s Office, said he would abide by the court’s decision while Coltart described the interdict as a victory for the rights of pupils and teachers.

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24 Comments

  1. Truly “..a victory for the rights of pupils and teachers” and for democracy overall. The challenge now is to ensure nationwide enforcement of the ruling: bearing in mind that there are rights stipulated under our constitution ( e.g. equal access by opposition parties to the public media) which are not being fully respected,

  2. This is a good rulling at list we have some judges who are not biased , we should now challnge the legitimacey of the coup government and send all the coup leaders were they belong , it is a serious offence because if not challenged it will become a system of changing the elected leaders of Zimbabwe , there is nothing called a soft or bloodless coup , a coup is a coup , let call a spade a spade /

  3. Does Zanu PF need the High Court to tell them these basic things? School kids should be left to learn in peace and not be forced to go to rallies and sometimes miss school lessons. Let the adults attend these rallies.

  4. Chisingapere blade

    Yeah that was pretty fair but then somehow I don’t think it’s feasible bcz every one wishes to see the president and the pupils ar not an exception so maybe school authorities shld ensure that kids don’t escape

  5. Siyai vana vaende kana vachizviendera voga. But do not force-march them to rallies ndoo zvisiri right.

    1. Children do not have the capacity to be making that decision. Iwe wako mwana akati ndoda kunorara panext door for a week unomubvumidza here simply because ndozvaari kuda. Children will always want outrageous things hence they have to be kept at bay.

    2. Such mentality you are mostly likely to tell us that Children(less than 18) should marry whom ever as long as they want. That’s not how a civilised society works.

  6. The symbolism of David Coltart, a white man, taking up this cause after many years of abuse of school children, teachers and facilities by Zanu PF is a telling shame on us black people.

  7. Farai J Nhire

    What about the fact that a good number of school children are registered voters? Why should they bee denied oportunity to meet their prefered candidate at a camgaign rally?The fact that the court did not touch those facts makes the sitting apear like a kangaroo style one.

    1. School children are well below the requited voting age, so should not be attending rallies. I support the ruling 110%

    2. who told you that ED is their preferred candidate.

      so you think these school children are not up to date to what is happening in zim. their brothers are jobless and they know the person behind their brothers and sister being jobless.

  8. how can this be a body blow when these youngsters do not vote lets report as it is

  9. kid marongorongo

    where is the link between these children and the so called big blow. its pathetic for a renowned media to be so competent and ill informing its clients. we expect meaningful piece of news.

  10. Farai Johnson Nhire

    There are many kids between 18 and 22 who are still going to school who registered to vote. Why did the court say nothing about those if their motive was not politically motivated and if the judgement was not predertemined and biased?

  11. kkk ko chihuri akazodii guys

  12. all political parties are doing this then why you are blaming ZANU PF for this isnt it that chamisa even forced a gokwe school premise to be provided to him for the progress of his rally.lets stop point fingers to each other for our failures.

  13. i dont see an point of worry cause our constitution has never provided a platform for children to vote then where are all these worries come from.

  14. a graviest mistake to think that school children are ZANU PF supporters kk this is really rediculos

  15. is that body blow or these are just the sentments of anti ED i think people should correct their words and stop imposing hatred words where it is not necessary

  16. tichingotongaa tichingotongaa vachingoukuraaa vachi ngo u ku raaaaaaaaaaa kkk haa ED waenda nenyika shamwarii munhu wese arikuda kuziva nezvako haa wakapenga tongaaa iwe

  17. job well done high court but don’t address this to the ruling part only even other political parties are doing it ma poem tirikunzwa achitirwa vana chamisa uko

  18. but that will never stop Ed kuhwinha its obvious kuti ZANU PF its going to win guys why cant you persuade chamisa to support ED cause truly i cant his victory ini.

  19. vedare tinotenda ndinobvumirana nemusoro wenya munyori maita zvakananaka pfuurirai mberi madaro ngatichiona avo vakamukira mambo wedunhu redzimba dzamabwe pamwe nemadzviti kuti zvaive pamurawooo here zvinotibatsira ramangwana kune avo vene pfungwa dzakadzoro bepanhau renewsday munogona #kwekwehim #handeitione

  20. Is the ruling against political parties only? Is the ruling also against hiring out of facilities e.g. to churches for religious services and their buses to generate revenue?

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