Monday, 15 November 2021

GUTI UNI ROW : COURT HALTS ELECTIONS

 THE High Court yesterday ordered the Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University (ZEGU) to call off Students Executive Council (SEC) elections at the institution until a matter in which a student is challenging her disqualification from participation in the elections was resolved.

ZEGU was taken to court after some aspiring candidates were disqualified on the grounds that they were not members of Zaoga church, could not speak in tongues and were not “spirit-filled”.

The elections were supposed to be held on November 12, but they were challenged on November 10.

In her ruling, High Court judge Justice Webster Chinamora yesterday ordered the university to halt the elections after one of the affected students, Modester Zinhanga, filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court.

The student is challenging her disqualification from contesting in the SEC elections on the basis that she is not a member of Zaoga, and did not show any evidence of speaking in tongues.

She is being represented by advocate Wilbert Mandinde, who is being instructed by Isheanesu Chirisa and Noble Chinhanu of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum.

Tichaona Marume  of Marume Furidzo Legal Practitioners appeared for the university.

The university also alleged that Zinhanga had not proved that she was a born-again Christian, and that she was spirit-filled.

To protect the integrity of the electoral process, Justice Chinamora ordered the university to suspend the elections until Zinhanga’s case was finalised.

The matter will be heard on the November 19, 2021. Recently, the university, run by Zaoga church, amended section 9 of the students handbook which introduced the new requirements that only church members would contest for SEC posts.

Zinhanga argued that the university’s decision would derail her in her quest to prepare and expose herself to the main framework of national politics and governance, which she said was her career path.

She also argued that the new measures were discriminatory and violated section 56 of the national Constitution.

The university, through its dean Zacharia Zunguze, in its notice of opposition, rubbished Zinhanga’s claims, arguing the institution does not train politicians. Newsday

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