By Portia Sigauke
National pledge demonstration that was organized by Prayer Network Zimbabwe (PNZ) on Monday was a success with more than hundred Christians from all walks of life taking part.
The demonstration was led by PNZ which seeks to pray for the nation’s peace and advancing Christianity.
Representatives from various churches participated expressing displeasure against decision by Primary and Secondary Education Minister, Lazarus Dokora’s new version of the National pledge.
The new National school pledge was launched at Harare High School in the capital at the beginning of this year’s second term where students performed the national school pledge in line with the new schools curriculum.
High ranking officials from the Ministry Primary and Secondary Education and parents converged at Harare High School to witness the reciting of the national school pledge.
The pledge in question 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 and National Liberation Struggles
We are proud inheritors of the richness of our natural resources
We are proud creators and participants in our vibrant traditions and cultures
We commit to honesty and dignity of hard work.”
Taking to the street people were seen hold placards with messages that was aimed at Dokora.
The protesters were escorted by armed riot police who unsuccessfully tried to deter the procession by diverting it to another route.
PNZ Spokesperson, Joseph Hushai, said Minister Dokora was wrong to force children to recite the pledge, a move perceived to be a direct attack on the Christian faith.
He emphasized that Christians would not sit back as Christianity was being attacked despite the fact that the religion has a following of more than 80 percent of the Zimbabwean population.
Bishop Ancelimo Magaya of the Divine Destiny Ministries gave a powerful message in which he stated that the government should first fulfill the pledge it made to the people ahead of the 2013 elections to create 2 million jobs before unleashing more overwhelming pledges on to the populace.
PNZ and Transform Zimbabwe President, Jacob Ngarivhume also gave an electrifying message where he highlighted that the government should stop coercing children into taking a lie as a pledge.
“Which natural resources are our children proud of? No huge move like a pledge should be introduced without consultations with the parents of the children,” Ngarivhume said.
The petition was successfully handed over to the Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education and other officials from the ministry with a 48-hour ultimatum for responding.