Members of Rastafarian community in Malawi on Wednesday presented a petition to government asking it to allow their children to attend classes in dreadlocks.
The petition was presented at Civic Offices which was received by Lilongwe District Commissioner, Felix Mkandawire on behalf of Office of President and Cabinet (OPC).
President of Rastafari for Unity, Ras Judah handed over the petition to Mkandawire.
Among other things they want Rasta children with dreadlocks in government and missionary schools.
Ras Judah said dreadlocks are a component of their religion and thus their children have a right to enroll in government schools.
He said: “Yeah man, Rasta like any citizen has a right to education. Why discriminate against our children”
Rastafarians recently sought the intervention from the ministry of education after authorities at a school in Thyolo booted out Rasta children from school because they wore dreads.
Ras Judah said the late president Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika had instructed school heads in his home area- Thyolo- to allow Rasta children in government schools.
He said banning children in dreadlocks from school is depriving them of a right to education, contravening the UN charter on the rights of children.
The much-maligned sect also wants the Head of State to extend presidential appointments to members of Rastafarian community who may be equally competent and qualified for such positions.
In the petition, the Rasta are against the legalisation of homosexuality and abortion in the country.
Another controversial issue the Rastas want is to freely use cannabis.
The Rastafarians argue that smoking the drug locally knowns as ‘chamba’ is part of their religious doctrine which must be respected and upheld.
But Cannabis is illegal in Malawi and police are sparing no one, Rasta or non-Rasta, in their crackdown on suspects.
The movement claims they are also Malawians who participate in the development of the country and should be treated equally.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :