Supreme Court Overturns Order Barring Zanu-PF From Forcing School Children, Teachers To Attend Rallies

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld Zanu-PF’s appeal against the order from Masvingo High Court judge Justice Joseph Mafusire which barred Zanu-PF from forcing school children and teachers to attend its political rallies and commandeering school resources such as buses and furniture for its rallies.

By upholding the appeal, the Supreme Court has overturned Justice Mafusire’s order meaning that school children, teachers and schools will no longer have the legal protection which had been initially granted as a result of the order.

The initial High Court order was granted following an urgent application by the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz). However, Zanu-PF was aggrieved by Justice Mafusire’s order and filed an appeal at the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court did not listen to the merits of the case but based its decision on a technicality. Legal counsel for Zanu-PF, Advocate Lewis Uriri argued that the High Court had erred by granting a final order instead of a temporary one as is expected in an urgent application.

Artuz’s lawyer, Douglas Coltart, on the other hand, argued that the High Court order was actually a temporary one because it lasted only for the duration of the election period. He asked that the question of whether the final order should have been granted be sent back to the High Court.

The Supreme Court concurred with Zanu-PF’s argument and upheld the appeal based on the technicality.  It also awarded costs against Artuz.