The Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has accused Zanu PF of violating a recent High Court order barring it from bussing school children to its rallies, arguing its appeal had set aside the order.
A Masvingo High Court judge recently delivered a ruling interdicting Zanu PF from forcing pupils and teachers to attend its rallies.
The ruling party was also barred from using school premises and buses for its political activities.
The ruling followed an urgent High Court application by ARTUZ.
However, Zanu PF has appealed to the Supreme Court against the ruling, arguing that Justice Joseph Mafusire erred by granting the order based on unsubstantiated claims.
ARTUZ president Obert Masaraure said the teachers’ representative body has since instructed its lawyers to approach the courts to seek leave to execute the High Court order pending hearing of Zanu PF’s appeal, adding this was necessary to protect teachers and pupils.
“It is crystal clear that the appeal by Zanu PF was aimed at suspending the court order, so that the party could violate children and teachers’ rights with impunity ahead of the polls. There is an urgent need to get relief for the teachers and learners.
“To mitigate against this mischievous act, Veritas and ARTUZ have instructed our lawyer, Doug Coltart to seek leave to execute the order pending appeal. We will approach Masvingo High Court seeking leave to execute Justice Mafusire’s safe schools order pending the Supreme Court’s determination on Zanu PF’s appeal,” Masaraure said.
Zanu PF had tried to stop the hearing of the matter, citing “technicalities in the application”, but the judge ruled the matter as urgent.
Masaraure claimed the ARTUZ had evidence Zanu PF continued to bus pupils to rallies, a charge the ruling party denies. The ruling party also stands accused of commandeering school buses to ferry its supporters to rallies, angering parents and school development associations in the process.