By Farai D Hove | The ZAOGA church owner, Ezekiel Guti’s university leadership has been defeated in the High Court after ordering that students must first speak in tongues for them to be elected to student-union leadership positions.
The matarenda-money built, Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University had been taken to court by a student who the institution barred from leading
High Court judge Justice Webster Chinamora on Thursday ruled that ZEGU’s decision to disqualify Modester Zinhanga is illegal.
Justice Chinamora ruled as follows, that:
1. The decision to disqualify Applicant is unfair discrimination and a direct violation of section 56 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
2. *All students* who qualify as registered and enrolled with the First Respondent with *at least a semester of study* at the 1st Respondent have an equal opportunity and equal benefit of the law which must be promoted and protected and must be afforded the equal opportunity to run for elections in the student body.
3. That the decision of Respondents should be confined to what the First Respondent’s University Charter permits as fair discrimination under the supreme and ultimate guidance of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
4. The whole section 9 of the Students Handbook 2021 Edition is *unconstitutional* to the extent of its inconsistency.
5. Respondents to pay costs of suit.
In a brief statement, a student body announced in writing saying it acknowledges and appreciates the judgment of the High Court, which declared that disqualification of a Presidential candidate from contesting in the Students Executive Council Elections, who is also a member of the Consorted Young-people Front; Modester Zinhanga, on the basis of section 9 of Respondent’s Handbook, which also affected other members of the Consorted Young-people Front; Chris Zindi, Mupezeni as unfair discrimination and subsequently unconstitutional.
The judgment denounced the intention of Respondents to apply section 86 of the Constitution, because stipulations or regulations of Respondents do not have the status of a law of general application.
As a representative of the Consorted Young-people Front, I want to confirm that when our Candidates were disqualified, we were ready, actually always ready, to defend the rights of our candidate. We are fully aware of our rights, in particular fundamental rights of students. Our appreciation of these rights gives us the confidence to always be ready to vindicate them. We feel that this is just the beginning, if need be, we will always vindicate our rights before Courts in Zimbabwe and the region because we believe that Courts have a duty to protect our interests as long same are genuine and whenever they are violated. We cannot stand to watch anyone being victimised.
What we appreciate is that decisions are made by human beings, and any such decisions cannot be immortalised, neither can we be made to worship or abide by decisions that are wrong at law. Universities have a duty as hubs of intellectual excellence to afford everyone an equal opportunity. It becomes mind boggling when students of other Universities who are now Doctors and Professors connive to impinge on the rights of young persons in such an age of constitutional democracy.
As the Consorted Young People Front, we believe gone are the days when authorities would easily get away with murder! We know our rights, and we will exercise all the rights available to us as a body, and through our members. We are willing to go to any length in order to assert our rights contained in our Constitution and all liberties afforded to us because we are human beings.
Over and above the court has set a tone for us, it has created an ambiance that we forever will be indebted to. It has given us a solid ground for entrenching academic freedom at length.