By Staff Reporter
A UNIVERSITY of Zimbabwe (UZ) student Alfred Ndlovu has approached the High Court seeking the suspension of Student Representative Council (SRC) elections.
Ndlovu was barred from running for president in the vote which is slated for 1 July at the institution of higher learning
He has since cited the UZ students’ union and dean of students, Munyaradzi Madambi, as 1st and 2nd respondents respectively.
Ndlovu said he was barred from contesting the elections on the basis that he is undertaking a second degree at University of Zimbabwe.
He averred that Madambi this month put in motion the process of elections of the SRC where Ndlovu submitted his nomination papers after having been endorsed procedurally, as per the election process.
“The elections to the SRC are done in terms of Schedule A of the 1st respondent’s constitution,” said Ndlovu.
“I submitted my nomination papers contesting for the president position. I complied with all the requirements laid down in the constitution in general, and specifically as laid down in the schedule A, and also as per published Rules and Regulations governing elections published by the 2nd respondent.”
He added that the selection criteria was on the basis that he is a qualified and registered student, having results averaging 2.2, had never been convicted of a criminal offence nor found guilty by the university of any disciplinary case while adding his name is also on the voter’s roll.
“For the record, I was once a member of the SRC in the year 2019, when I was doing my first degree in political science. I later enrolled again in 2021 for my second and current degree program,” he said.
He explained that this is an urgent matter in that Madambi, on June 7, 2022, issued a notice that the SRC elections are going to be conducted on July 1, 2022.
“On June 17, 2022, the election commission sat and announced the qualifying contestants. Four had successfully filed their nomination papers, including myself. However, only three were announced as eligible to stand for the president position,” he said in his court papers.
He added that Madambi, during the sitting of the electoral commission, stood up and announced that the applicant was disqualified on the grounds that he is a student taking up a second degree, therefore for those reasons he could not contest for the position of the president in SRC.
“This was done without any legal basis as our constitution does not bar an undergrad student from contesting presidency in SRC on grounds that the student is talking a second degree. Further, the reason of my disqualification was unreasonable, as it is in defiance of logic and common sense.
“I was never given an opportunity to make presentations before the electoral commission before an adverse decision was made against me in contravention of the principle of natural justice.
“The condition was put in place only for me simply because I was an effective leader previously, and the students really loved my leadership style. The decision by the 1st respondent was calculated to specifically disqualify me after realizing I was contesting. There was no rule to this effect prior to the nomination process. In any case, it is the 2nd respondent’s sole decision, an abuse of his decision,” he said.
In view of the above, Ndlovu said he has no remedy but to turn to the courts for intervention and treat the issue as a matter of urgency.
“The decision of the respondents in altering the rules against me infringes my rights as enshrined in the 1st respondent’s constitution. I have a right to contest for any position I so wish in the SRC. That is democratic. The respondents cannot bar me from participating in a democratic process on a ground that is foreign to the governing constitution.
“I have a right to stand like any other student. The decision by respondent is an administrative decision, which in this case is unreasonable and irregular, and this honourable court has powers to intervene through its review powers.
“I am therefore applying for a Provisional order that is followed by a return day where a final determination would be made regarding my capacity to stand for the elections to SRC.”