EIGHT students at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) have approached the High Court seeking an order to declare that their banning from contesting in Student Representative Council (SRC) elections by the institution’s authorities be declared invalid.
The eight — Tawanda Watadza, Tanaka Masvaya, Hazel Gwande, Munashe Muchero, Darlington Chigweja, Delama Chiranaza, Lionela Madamombe and Comfort Mpofu — are being represented by Obey Shava of Obey Shava Law Chambers.
UZ is set to conduct Student Executive Council and Student Representative Assembly elections today.
The matter was argued before High Court judge Justice Fatima Maxwell.
According to court papers, on November 14, 2023, the electoral commission chairperson issued a notice announcing the election of the Student Executive Council and Student Representative Assembly.
He went on to invite nominations for possible candidates.
The Dean of Students on November 17 issued rules and regulations for the conduct of the said elections.
Applicants were nominated and their nomination forms were duly submitted as indicated in the notices.
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On November 22, the electoral commission of the students union sat and deliberated on the nomination and announced that the eight were not validly nominated and, therefore, could not qualify to stand for November 28 elections.
The aggrieved students then orally requested the reasons for the invalidation of their nominations, but no reasons were furnished.
They insisted on being compliant with the requirements set in the Constitution as well as further rules and guidelines.
On November 23, the applicants wrote to the electoral commission requesting the reasons behind the disqualificaton.
No reasons were given.
“Applicants are aggrieved by the decision by the student’s union electoral commission to invalidate their nominations in that the invalidation is unlawful, unjust and unsupported by the union’s constitution nor the further rules and regulations set by the Dean of Students.
“The decision to disqualify the applicants is thus malicious and capricious for want of compliance with the dictates of the union’s constitution and guidelines,” wrote their lawyer Shava in the urgent court application.
Shava said the students had no other forum to approach for redress and no other relief was available to them apart from approaching the High Court.
The students are seeking an order declaring that nullification of their nomination was unlawful, null and void.