Police ban first demo against national pledge

BULAWAYO - Police here banned the first anti-national pledge demonstration by the Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) yesterday, saying it had not been sanctioned by authorities and therefore, illegal.

Anti-riot police broke up the march by the far-left protesters in the city as they sought to demonstrate against a national pledge for children, which was introduced in schools at the start of the new term yesterday.

The demo, which was supposed to begin at Egodini Bus Terminus to Mhlanhlandlela Government Complex, was stopped immediately after the protestors began the march in the morning.

According to Mbonisi Gumbo, MRP spokesperson, their aim was to present the petition to the provincial office of the Primary and Secondary Education ministry demanding what they termed an end to the “violation of child-related crucial rights which entail the right to freedom of worship and basic education”.

Some parents and churches have protested the pledge, in which children will be made to recite every day after singing the national anthem.

In the national pledge, children pledge their allegiance to God and the national flag and pay their respects to “brave fathers and mothers who lost their lives in the Chimurenga”, the 70s war of independence against the minority white-led government that ushered in independence in 1980.

“We demand the end to the national pledge as it violates the rights of children and their parents as enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe, and the articles of the African Union and the United Nations of which Zimbabwe is a signatory,” Gumbo said.

Sylvia Utete-Masango, the permanent secretary in the Education ministry, said on Monday: “The words in the pledge talk about hard work, commitment and dignity.

“I don’t know if there are parents who don’t want honest and hard-working children.”

Comments (4)

This thing of national pledge is meant to divert people`s attention to quizzing Mugabe and his government on issues affecting their lives. He (Mugabe) hopes to scratch some reprieve before he goes to rest. The problems facing the nation have become insurmountable for him and he has no plan B. The moment he departs the pledge will automatically fall away. Same thing like the quarrels we hear emanating from his party: he is buying time to at least have no fingers pointing at him so that he can retire before he die - but his retirement does not entail him leaving his post. The only person who was fired from Zanu-PF was Edgar Tekere. Anything else is a mere smoke screen for poor Zimbabweans to believe so that he a nd his cronies have more time to continue with their looting. I dont see why people (if they want to demonstrate) cannot join the planned million march (which is open and freely sanctioned ) and thereby clamour for Mugabe to go. Hazvisati zvagwadza. Kana zwagwadza chaizvo hapana anosara mumba for a "Mugabe must go " demo.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 4 May 2016

i hate this national pledge and this whole idea of banning scripture union. zimnbabwe is what it is today in terms of peace and tolerance because some of us went to scripture union programmes. i could be a hooligan and a problem child for the GoZ had it not been for SU....will they bann this SU in mission schools too?? read about the middle east to determine what non christian nations are capable of doing....the GoZ wants to prmote an eye for an eye principle that makes the world go blind?? because i believe thats what certain religions teach...while we preach PEACE, LOVE, HOPE at church. if whats circulating on social media is anything to go by that we are aboloshing SU coz some religion wants to invest in ZImbabwe, then woe on ZImbabwe and its leadership.....

pledge - 5 May 2016

Sylvia, children of hard-working parents hardly support Zanu PF and its BS policies and pea-brained projects. They know and feel the pains their parents go through everyday under a very unpopular and cruel govt. Your ZPF didn't bring freedom - you transferred the chains from the legs to the neck.

Sagitarr - 5 May 2016

Our church was planning an outreach to schools in Bulawayo these June/July holidays. Taking a group of young people to meet and share and interact with their peers in Bulawayo. Its 'easy' to stay at home and pray for someone you read/hear about in the news. It's when we meet and interact that 'your reality becomes mine'. What we had hoped would be an enriching experience for our kids and the young people they would meet in Bulawayo is now maybe not going to happen?MJJ

Hessi - 6 May 2016

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