ConCourt reserves judgement on application challenging mandatory National Pledge in schools

The Constitutional Court has reserved judgement in a case which was brought by a parent challenging the constitutionality of government policy which requires all students to recite the National Pledge.  The pledge was introduced by Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Lazarus Dokora, in May 2016. Mr David Hofisi of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights was representing the application in this case.  Advocate Lewis Uriri represented the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.

The applicant is Mathew Sogolani, a parent against the mandatory pledge, who challenged the constitutionality of the national pledge, arguing that it violates his children and his own constitutional rights. In his application, Sogolani, whose three minor children are enrolled in infant, primary and secondary schools respectively, argues that forcing children to recite contents of the pledge run contrary to the family’s religious beliefs.  He is a member of the Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) church.

The case was heard by the Full Bench of the Constitutional Court.  Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba reserved judgement after hearing arguments from both parties.


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