A Zimbabwean High Court earlier this week ruled that the use of corporal punishment to correct children contravened the laws of the country.
According to Justice David Mangota, parents and teachers should find other ways of disciplining children besides beating them.
He is yet to deliver a detailed verdict on his ruling. Enforcement of the ruling is however subject to the confirmation of the Constitutional Court of the country.
In his ‘initial’ ruling, Justice Mongata said a section of the current law that allowed the use of corporal punishment was unconstitutional. Sections 3 to 7 of the Education Disciplinary Regulations 1985 contained in the Statutory Instrument 362 of 1998, was declared to be in violation of the constitution.
The case was brought before the court by a law expert and former finance minister, Tendai Biti. He was representing a parent whose daughter was whipped with a rubber pipe by a teacher.
The woman, Ms Linda Pfungwa, with the support of a child rights group, went to court over the issue arguing that corporal punishment was a form of violence that needed to be abolished.
“I believe corporal punishment is a physical abuse of children. It amounts to deliberately hurting a child, which cause injuries such as bruises, broken bones, burns or cuts,” she is quoted to have said.