Source: #This Constitution takes Dokora petition to Parly – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 28, 2017
LOCAL pressure group #This Constitution has rekindled its campaign to force Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora to stop frog-marching pupils to Zanu PF rallies.
BY SILAS NKALA
The group has now threatened to take the matter to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Education after the minister ignored their petition presented in July this year.
#This Constitution founding director Abigail Mupambi said they had petitioned Dokora demanding the inclusion of Constitution lessons in schools, a stop to the frog-marching of pupils to Zanu PF rallies and the removal of some aspects of the new curriculum.
Mupambi said they were reviving their concerns since there was a new administration under President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Following their petition in July, Dokora met with them in his office, but crushed all their demands.
In a follow-up letter, yet to be delivered to Dokora, dated November 27, Mupambi referred to their meeting with Dokora on August 2, 2017, which he called at his offices in relation to their July 25 petition.
“You will remember that we had petitioned you, in your capacity as the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, over failure to observe specific clauses of the Constitution of Zimbabwe amendment (number 19) Act 2013, that is, section 7 and section 19, as it relates to the teaching of the same Constitution in schools,” Mupambi wrote.
“We thank you for having afforded us an opportunity to meet you over the same petition and we would like to commend you for engaging us as citizens of Zimbabwe over our concerns with your ministry.
“We were, however, left disappointed at the excessively unprogressive and hostile fashion of engagement you employed in responding to our petition, where you drifted away from our specific concerns as citizens, sadly and strangely so.”
Mupambi said the minister pretended as if he did not know that pupils in primary and secondary schools were not being taught the Constitution of Zimbabwe as directed by the Constitution.
“You further disappointed us by pretending not to know that school pupils are often commandeered to political rallies, a gross violation of their rights, as they have not yet reached the legal age of majority, where they can competently decide which political party to associate with. The same actions by your ministry exhibit unmitigated levels of disrespect towards parents who work hard to pay school fees for their children only to see them chanting derogatory and divisive slogans at political rallies instead of attending classes,” Mupambi wrote.
“Owing to the unproductive meeting we had with you, where you openly refused to commit yourself as minister to make tangible plans to have the Constitution of Zimbabwe taught in schools, and to stop the force-marching of school pupils to political rallies, we, hereby, advise you that our demands, as articulated in our petition of July 25, still stand,” Mupambi
“We shall never wink at the subversion and disregard of the supreme law of the land. Any such action is an insult to the collective intelligence and resolution of our citizenry, since the said provisions were endorsed by citizens in the 2013 referendum. We are therefore considering several options to make sure that your ministry abides by the two constitutional provisions as a matter of urgency.”
The letter was copied to education officers and is expected to be delivered to the offices this week.
When the initial petition was handed to him, Dokora said he expected it to be withdrawn and an apology issued by the lobby group for wrongly accusing him and his ministry of not teaching the Constitution in schools.