Minister of Education has not converted to Islam, Mugabe says, and remains a Catholic.
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has defended his Education Minister from accusations the introduction of Islam into state primary school education curriculums is due to the minister’s conversion to Islam. Primary and Secondary School Education Minister Lazarus Dokora has been under fire for introducing instruction in Islam in the new state curriculum, and Anglican leaders tell Anglican.Ink they are perturbed by the decision. The minister has courted controversy in the past by imposing a loath of allegiance to President Mugabe in the daily school plan as well as demanding teacher’s wear state approved uniforms. In his traditional birthday interview with the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, released on 3 March 2017, President Mugabe said the claims put forward by parents and teachers groups were erroneous. The minister had been teased by his cabinet colleagues with the nickname “Ayatollah” for growing a beard, the president said. However, “he refused to be called Ayatollah, insisting that his beard was not proof of conversion to Islam. Others said he had visited Iran and that that was where he converted to Islam but he said ‘no I am not a Muslim at all. I remain a Catholic’,” the president said in the Shona language broadcast. On 27 Feb 2017 Mr Dokora defended his changes in an interview with state media claiming there was nothing new in teaching Islam in state schools. Secondary school students already were taught courses on “Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism” and other faiths. “Now, I have told you that we have now brought in the little ones in the school system, the four-year-olds; and do you not think we should take these themes and teach them to these little ones?,” the minister said.