The Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe will on 28 December 2020 hand down its ruling on an application filed by an aggrieved parent who doesn’t want his children to recite the National Pledge at school as directed by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
In 2016, Mathew Sogolani challenged the government’s move to force all school children to recite a National Pledge which he alleged violates children’s rights.
According to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), the contentious National Pledge was introduced by the government in May 2016 to be recited by all pupils enrolled in Zimbabwe’s primary and secondary schools.
Sologani challenged the constitutionality of the National Pledge arguing that it violates his children and his own constitutional rights.
In his application filed by David Hofisi, who was a lawyer with ZLHR then, Sogolani, whose three minor children were enrolled in infant, primary and secondary schools respectively, argued that forcing children to recite the pledge’s contents run contrary to the family’s religious beliefs.
Sogolani, a member of the Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) church, wants the Constitutional Court to suspend the requirement that schoolchildren recite the pledge.
– Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights –
The National Pledge reads as follows:
Almighty God, in whose hands our future lies, I salute the national flag.
United in our diversity by our common desire for freedom, justice and equality.
Respecting the brave fathers and mothers who lost lives in the Chimurenga/Umvukela and national liberation struggles.
We are proud inheritors of our national resources.
We are proud creators of and participants in our vibrant traditions and cultures.
We commit honesty and the dignity of hard work.