Children have a right to freedom of religion-Dokora


Every child has a right to belong to any religion and school authorities should adjust their timetables
to ensure that pupils are not disadvantaged, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Dr Lazarus Dokora said this on Saturday while
addressing the Zimbabwe Religious Board in Chitungwiza where he reiterated that the new curriculum
did not impose Islam on pupils.

“In 2013 came the new Constitution which we voted for and it stipulates the rights for education and
religion. In the same Constitution there is nowhere, where it is written that the religion of this country
is this, but there is a section where it states the freedom of conscience,” said Dr Dokora.



“It means everyone is free to worship any religion and there are those who believe in Islam, Apostolic
sects (Masowe), Bahai, and Buddhism. In our Constitution there is nowhere, where it is written that we
should kill anyone who believes in Buddhism, but everyone in Zimbabwe must have the freedom to
stand for what he or she believes in,” he said



Dr Dokora advised teachers to take note of their pupil’s different religions and observe them
“What does this mean to my staff? In Chitungwiza there a lot of apostolic sects that attend church
every Thursday evening together with their children and on Friday they go to school.
“It means children will attend school already tired because they never had rest the previous night.

“If it is those who go to church on Friday, some teachers celebrate because few pupils attend school.
“This is the day they decide to give others an exam and at the end of the term apostolic children are
always at the bottom,” he said.

He said this leads to discriminating pupils according to their religion, urging church leaders to guide
their children on what is good in their lives.
Dr Dokora said he would continue to engage different stakeholders in education matters.
“Education is a multi­stakeholder activity and consequently we cannot draw boundaries. We must be
in perpetual dialogue with our stakeholders, be they churches, parents, accountants and whoever they are

As long as they have a stake in the education, we have an obligation to continue to interact with
“The churches themselves must also do introspection in what they do. Our message is, let us continue
in a state of perpetual engagement and dialogue,” added Dr Dokora.