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Students win appeal against singing of national anthem


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Read full story here http://www.24tanzania.com/students-win-appeal-against-singing-of-national-anthem/ 

 

The students, the appellants in the case, were members of Jehovah’s Witnesses, a legally recognised religious sect in Tanzania, from various primary and secondary schools in Mbozi District, Mbeya Region. They had refused to sing the national anthem on claims that it was against their religious beliefs.

Their respective schools suspended them basing on a circular issued by the Commissioner for Education on July 6, 1998 on the singing of the national anthem in schools, so as to instill patriotism among children and youths.

Going by the record, they said, no evidence was submitted to show that the minister had delegated his powers to make regulations on the singing of the national anthem and the disciplinary measures resulting thereof to the Commissioner for Education.

“We accordingly declare that the circular, lacking the force of law, could not have been lawfully used by the education authorities to compel the appellants (pupils) to sing the national anthem against the sincerely and consciously-held religious belief,” the court ruled.

The justices noted further that the constitution was silent on the national anthem. They said that even the National Emblems Act, which provides for the national flag and coat of arms as national symbols, also contain no provision on the national anthem.

“The resultant expulsion or suspension of the students, we respectfully also hold, was and remains unlawful. Accordingly, we allow the appeal, quash and set aside the majority judgment of the High Court and reverse all the consequential orders issued,” the justices ruled

Edited by raq
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One brother reflected this on the  last week WT article on how can sometimes trails and persecutions speared the word faster than it would have been done. He said-there are  two circuits in the same district so far(quite rare here with just  16000+ publishers all over Tanzania)-reflecting about the spiritual progress in the area mentioned (Mbozi district) since 2007..Is like people started asking why should one be punished on beliefs matters?

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