Ndiweni wants court action over Zanu PF rallies

In 2018, the High Court ruled that school children must not be forced to attend political rallies.

Exiled former Ntabazinduna chief Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni says Zanu PF must be taken to court for coercing schoolchildren to attend its rallies in violation of a 2018 High Court ruling.

In 2018, the High Court ruled that school children must not be forced to attend political rallies.

The court also said that political parties must not be allowed to use school equipment, including vehicles for political interests.

This followed a High Court application by legislative watchdog, Veritas, on behalf of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz).

Schoolchildren have, however, been seen at Zanu PF rallies addressed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the lead up to the August 23 elections.

"Zanu PF should not be going to schools to hold rallies, should not be campaigning on school grounds, should not be coercing school children, should not be disturbing school children in school hours,” Ndiweni said in an interview.

“More important than that, we have domestic legislation in Zimbabwe that prohibits the  ministry of education, teachers, and all those involved in school work from getting involved in party politics.”

In Nkayi recently, some learners clad in school uniforms were forced to chant Zanu PF slogans denouncing the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).

Other reports show that learning was being disrupted, with teachers and learners alike forced to attend party rallies.

"The only way to deal with this matter is for guardians and parents of the children to take the matter to court,” Ndiweni said.

“The school authorities must also be approached by parents and made to understand that their children are not part of the politics."

Bulawayo Zanu PF spokesperson Archibold Chiponda did not respond to questions sent to him before going to print.

 In a statement last week, the Artuz condemned the abuse of children and teachers’ rights.

In 2018, Artuz launched a Safe Schools Campaign aimed at ensuring that the security and safety of teachers and learners is safeguarded before, during and after polls.

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