Guti’s University Bid To Bar ‘Non Spirit Filled’ Students Hits Snag

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By Leopold Munhende

THE High Court has quashed attempts by ZAOGA-run Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University (ZEGU) to shut out students who cannot speak in tongues and are not “spirit-filled” from taking up leadership positions in its Students Executive Council (SEC).

Aspiring SEC president Modester Zinhanga, her colleagues Godcares Nyereyemhuka (vice president), Trish Chimanda (secretary general), Chris Zindi (minister of Finance) and Obedience Mupezeni (minister of Religion and Gender) have all been given the greenlight by to contest.

Zinhanga was represented by Advocate Wilbert Mandinde, who was being instructed by Noble Chinhanu and Isheanesu Chirisa of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum.

“The decision to disqualify applicant is unfair discrimination and a direct violation of Section 56 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” the High Court judgement by Justice Webster Chinamhora, seen by Friday reads.

“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,” the judge said.

“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.”

The High Court went on to declare Section 9 of the Student Handbook, amended this year by ZEGU to bar some students, unconstitutional.

“The whole Section 9 of the  Students Handbook 2021 Edition is unconstitutional to the extent of its inconsistency.”

ZEGU, its registrar Innocent Chinyemba who was named second respondent and dean of students Zacharia Zunguze the third respondent have been ordered to pay costs of the lawsuit.