Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa gestures at an election rally. Picture: Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters
Harare -  Zimbabwe’s High Court ruled on Thursday that school children must not be forced to attend political rallies and that political parties must not be allowed to use school equipment, including vehicles for its political interests. 

The case was taken to court by the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, represented by Doug (correct) Coltart and was heard as an urgent matter in chambers at the Masvingo High Court by Judge Mafusire who also ruled that teachers should not be forced to fund or participate in private political processes. 

For as long as anyone can remember, children were seen, in uniform, during school hours, at many Zanu PF political rallies and at those addressed by former president Robert Mugabe. 

Children holding posters in support of new president Emmerson Mnangagwa who is standing as Zanu PF’s candidate in the presidential election. He is often referred to by his initials, ED, as on the poster held by a school child at a recent rally.
There are more than 100 000 teachers in Zimbabwe and more then half of them are employed in the rural areas.  

Zimbabwe is holding elections on July 30. 

Independent Foreign Service