'Stop forcing students to rallies'


HARARE - Rural teachers have urged President Emmerson Mnangagwa, pictured, to stop commandeering school children to his rallies.

In  a statement yesterday, the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) said educators were getting increasingly worried over continued  reports of school children and their teachers seen at Zanu PF functions and in some cases seen clad in party campaign T-shirts.

“Artuz condemns in strongest terms the repetitive use of Mugabe’s tactics by President Mnangagwa and Zanu PF and calls upon government to implement the recommendations by the Commission or face legal action in the highest courts of the land. Education is a fundamental right and that right must be respected,” the statement reads in part.

Contacted for comment, Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs Paul Mangwana said there was nothing wrong with school children attending rallies.

“The president will be wearing several hats each time he has a function including being a political leader so if the children come to listen to their leader, what is wrong with that?” Mangwana asked rhetorically.

Mangwana denied that teachers were also forced to abandon their work stations for Zanu PF rallies saying: “I don’t know where that is happening”.

“In any case I am not at liberty to discuss such issues because they are not of a legal nature in my view and I am legal secretary.”

The latest condemnation by the teachers union comes hardly a fortnight after the Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) rapped Mnangagwa for the practice.

Zinasu secretary-general Ashley Pfunye told MDC supporters during an electoral reforms demo in Harare a fortnight ago that Mnangagwa was behaving as if he was campaigning to become a school headmaster not head of State.

“He (Mnangagwa) acts as if he wants to become a headmaster because we have seen the abuse of school children that is going on when he forces them to attend his campaign rallies, leaving us wondering whether he is serious about contesting for the country’s presidency or he wants to become a school headmaster,” Pfunye said.

Artuz has made attempts to stop the abuse of school children when they launched their  Safe Schools Campaign  last year which was aimed at protecting teachers and learners during the often volatile election periods.

The group also approached the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) to raise a complaint of “gross violations” of both children and teachers’ rights. This led the commission to recommend to Parliament and the executive arm of government to protect schools and leaners from political interference.

“This flies in the face of the recommendations in the Investigative Report by Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC),” said Artuz statement.

The teachers union also called on Sadc, the AU and UN agencies to put pressure on the Zimbabwean government to honour its obligation by barring political activities in schools “in line with our Safe Schools Campaign”

Comments (30)

Paul Mangwna stop lying and trying to justify the unjust bcause that is typical of lawyers like you trying to convince us that black is white. It is wrong for the President to commandeer school children and teachers or anyone for that matter to Zanu pf rallies. If the President wants to interact with school children then he must visit schools. That is why most of you Zanu pf guys are sending your children abroad to learn so that they do not experience this abuse. Again this is not a new dispensatio at all but a replice of the previous regime of which current regime has been and is still part of. Shame!

Gheo - 21 June 2018

People should simply know that these kids are the future of tummorrow and if there is anything great to them,is associating with a role model....afterall nobody is bieng forced they are simply exercising their freedom of association as stipulated by chapter 4 of the constitution

cde masango - 21 June 2018

voters start from the age of 18, and these are still school children. so they have every right to attend

benjamin - 21 June 2018

my son could hardly talk with excitement wen he came back from mucheke stadium after just seeing the president. thank you Emerson

constance - 21 June 2018

Students who are attending rallies are over 18 (they are voters) .As such, they are attending by will of supporting ED.

dzimbabwe - 21 June 2018

misconceptions will always be misconceptions.... the purpose of these kids coming is that they constitute the future of the country,,,therefore whichever the case maybe....its always important to invest inthe future of the nation

Advocate - 21 June 2018

do you have evidence of him forcing the students and teachers to rallies?

madikizela - 21 June 2018

The students are vital in all political parties. They are school children today but 2mor they are potential supporters.

Chimurenga - 21 June 2018

even Jesus said, let the children come to me. ko ED atadzei hake

isheanesu marima - 21 June 2018

There you go, calling on the global community to criticize and isolate your own nation over unworthy issues. Where is your nationalism?

Django Django - 21 June 2018

ED IS BETTER, KO CHAMISA AKATONYENGA OSHLER HUKURAI KURALLY YAKE YEMBERENGWA

CHA - 21 June 2018

chamisa stomped nembudziya government... with no permission, no clearance, nothing. usajairire vana vedu....

mj - 21 June 2018

Why focusing on uniforms instead of regalia. Focusing on students kupedzera miseve kumakunguwo hanga dziripo?

Samora - 21 June 2018

chero vakaforcwer zvneyi newe?

chisngaperi blade - 21 June 2018

respect us mdc. honestly even I was shocked when they stepped into the staff room during break time tatoshamisika veduwee

viruss vigoroso - 21 June 2018

saka vana vanofana kungodzingwa ere....kana vauya? becoz to be frank the children are copming out of their own will not by force

xiruvut - 21 June 2018

Those school pupils are political seeds. They need to be part and parcel of politics

Gukula - 21 June 2018

as long vachizvifarira pressure zero

murenga - 21 June 2018

ko nhai va chamisa vanhu vakuru vapera here

tavonga - 21 June 2018

Such lies are not a shame to the nation, especially if coming from Chamisa and oher blind followers of him

lavine - 21 June 2018

iwe warwadziwa neyi panduru yehuku yawusingadye

April taffy - 21 June 2018

In as much as we may want to usher tales of demobnisations,we should know,these children are our children and we shouldnt bare them from attending issues that concern them.after all these children do not only come to zanu pf rallies only but even mdc rallies to.

John dzamara - 21 June 2018

that's what happens when you realize you have dismally failed to convince the grown up. zanu pf inokurova fair fair

biggie - 21 June 2018

Tokumbirisawo hame dzangu tisazvidanira masanction, vana SADC nanaAU vamunodana munoti vazodii nesu?

Pasichigare - 21 June 2018

lets understand something here, politics is a part of everyone's life so personally I see nothing wrong with students being part of politics. #anything for students without students is against students

ishe - 21 June 2018

licalayini ukuthi abantwana abayithandi iMDC, bazithandela izanu pf?

zulu mzilikazi - 21 June 2018

awusi wakurashika here cz kana ava above 18 is now suppose to vote and apana paanganovoter asina kuendkurally so wat a re u saying?

Ellias Mudzuri - 21 June 2018

MDCs lacks real politics ......these students are vital in all forms of socialization.

Sankara - 21 June 2018

Not only students are forced to attend zanu pf rallies,most adults are forced to attend Zanu pf rallies trough intimidation,unspecified actions or even with death.The have seen people disappear,getting killed and being displaced before and nothing happening the perpetrators thus making them unwilling Zanu pf "supporters".On the other hand MDC Alliance attend rallies by choice and it is actually taking a huge risk to attend MDC rallies on account they are always haunted by zanu pf's merchants of violence.

Luke Munya Bikaldo - 22 June 2018

The level of political immaturity /illiteracy displayed in some comments is shocking. I thought the issue is about choosing which rally to attend with the freedom enshrined in the constitution

BAT - 25 June 2018

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