UN APPLAUDS HIGH COURT FOR PROTECTING SCHOOLS AGAINST POLITICS

ZIMBABWE: EDUCATION/SABANEWS/4/7/18 SABANews 1

Zimbabwean school children at a rally (Pic. Agencies)

HARARE – The UNITED NATIONS Mission in ZIMBABWE has commended the High Court decision to protect children from forced attendance at political rallies.

Communications Specialist SIRAK GEBREHIWOT has issued a statement after the ruling of 28 JUNE 2018.

The ruling says learners must not be taken away from lessons to be present at campaign gatherings.

The Court decision also says political parties must not have the freedom to use school equipment, including vehicles, for their organisational interests.

The verdict is in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which says the best interests of the child must be the paramount consideration in every situation, and at all times.

Mr GEBREHIWOT says the UN emphasizes schools must be havens of safety, and children must continue to have uninterrupted access to basic social services.

The ruling ZANU PF has over the years been forcing both teachers and school children to attend political rallies, regardless of whether or not they were party members.

Media reports say the party, citing technicalities in the application, had tried to stop the hearing of the case filed by the AMALGAMATED RURAL TEACHERS’ UNION OF ZIMBABWE.

However, Justice JOSEPH MAFUSIRE, sitting at the MASVINGO High Court, ruled the matter was urgent.

The teachers’ union that took ZANU PF to Court says has welcomed the decision against the long practice of forcing learners and teachers to rallies during class times.

ZIMBABWE is going for general elections within the next THREE weeks on 30 JULY, with some 23 presidential candidates expected to battle it out for the top job./Sabanews/cam

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