Five church leaders in Harare yesterday led a protest march in the city
centre, demanding government’s rescission of the national pledge imposed
by Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora in May.
The clergymen, operating under the Prayer Network of Zimbabwe (PNZ) banner, claimed it was unconstitutional to force pupils to recite the pledge and called on Dokora to resign over his contentious educational policies.
The pledge, according to Dokora, is meant to instil patriotism among school children, but the church leaders said it was against their Christian beliefs. The placard-waving church leaders later handed over a petition at Dokora’s offices.
Addressing about 50 people, who took part in the protest march, Zimbabwe Divine Destiny leader, Ancelimo Magaya, described the pledge as satanic. “Our main issue is that the pledge is against the Constitution, particularly section 60,” PNZ founder and patron, Jacob Ngarivhume said.
“We don’t want our children to recite that pledge. This is like the time of Daniel in the Bible, where people were forced to make contrary acts. We are warning them to stop the pledge.” He said if the pledge is not stopped, they will push for Dokora’s ouster.
The protest came a week after another a group of church elders said they supported the programme, although they felt government should have consulted over the issue before implementation.