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Church Group's Request for Parly Debate on National Pledge Hits Brickwall

Jacob Mudenda, Speaker of Parliament of Zimbabwe.
Jacob Mudenda, Speaker of Parliament of Zimbabwe.

A church organization says parliament has rejected its appeal to outlaw Zimbabwe’s national pledge, which is aimed at having children that are patriotic to their nation.

Reverend Clement Zenda of Christian Voice International Zimbabwe told Studio 7 that parliament’s response to their request to have the national pledge scrapped is shocking.

“They are saying we did not meet the required standards for the petition to be debated in parliament. They are saying that we should add the prerequisites that they want especially some kind of funders of our organization. They are saying if we give them the background on who is funding CVIZ so that they could consider the petition valid.

“We haven’t reacted because this organization is wholly funded by the Christian community in Zimbabwe.”

Rev. Zenda said parliament may have been irked by the tone of the petition as “we did not mince our words.”

He said the CVIZ views the national pledge as a way of indoctrinating school children with Zanu PF propaganda in an attempt to create a docile society.

“We were not consulted when that pledge was introduced or imposed on our children. We want parliament to debate that because we are not sure whether the whole issue went through a parliamentary process.”

Interview With Reverend Clement Zenda
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Some Zimbabweans are against the national pledge with most Zanu PF supporters backing the government’s move to introduce it at schools.

Zimbabwe’s Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku recently dismissed an urgent chamber application by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights to stay the reciting of the national pledge in schools until the court makes a ruling on the case. The Constitutional Court will hear the matter sometime this month.

The pledge reads, “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. We are proud inheritors of the richness of our natural resources. We are proud creators and participants in our vibrant traditions and cultures. I commit to honesty and dignity of hard work.”