The Zimbabwean national pledge was officially launched a fortnight ago at Harare High School by Primary and Secondary Education permanent secretary Dr. Sylvia UteteMasango.
The same was replicated at other primary and secondary schools in Zimbabwe on 3rd May.
The Pledge goes thus:
“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 our national resources.
We are proud creators and participants in our vibrant traditions and cultures.
We commit to honesty and the dignity of hard work.”
The Zimbabwean national pledge came under attack by some Christian leaders as a violation to freedom of worship. Zimbabwe Christian Alliance director, Reverend Useni Sibanda said:
“This violates the Bill of Rights section 60 under Freedom of Conscience, where the Constitution says no person shall be compelled to take a vow or oath by anyone or State which violates their conscience or religious beliefs.”
He also added that demanding that parents give gifts to their chiuldren which will be presented during the pledge has reduced it to nothing but a ritual.
“This reduces it to a religious vow which we cannot allow our children to take. We call on all parents to ensure that their children boycott the pledge every morning,” he said.
The government however defended the pledge saying that the wordings were culled from the preamble of the national constitution and was adopted by millions of Zimbabweans during the referendum three years ago.
The government has reiterated that the Zimbabwean national pledge had the aim of instilling patriotism in Zimbabweans. Dr. UteteMasango said.
“We have our national symbols. For example, we have the Flag and anyone who is Zimbabwean cannot say I don’t subscribe to the Flag because this is a national symbol. We also have the Constitution. Because the Constitution is the highest law of the land, who can say I don’t subscribe to the Constitution? The wording of the Pledge is actually derived from the preamble.
“This is part and parcel of the new curriculum. We are trying to strengthen the issues to do with our value system, heritage and who we are as a people. The new curriculum is underpinned by a philosophy.”