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Zim court orders Zanu-PF to stop forcing children to attend rallies

The Amalgamated Teachers Union of Zimbabwe went to court to stop Zanu-PF from compelling school children to attend rallies.

Zimbabwe's President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa at a Zanu-PF election rally. Picture: AFP

HARARE - Zimbabwe’s High Court has ordered the ruling Zanu-PF party not to force children to attend its political rallies.

Children in school uniform were a common sight at ruling party rallies held by former president Robert Mugabe and critics say the practice is continuing under the current president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The Amalgamated Teachers Union of Zimbabwe went to court to stop Zanu-PF from compelling school children to attend rallies.

It also wanted the party stopped from commandeering school property, like buses to transport its supporters, and from forcing teachers to fund some of its meetings.

High Court Judge Joseph Mafusire said the teachers had proved their case, and he ruled in their favour.

Although the order applies to the ruling party, it'll prevent opposition parties from doing the same thing.

The presence of children at rallies has been criticised, especially in the wake of last week’s deadly explosion at a ruling party rally in Bulawayo.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)