ZINASU confronts minister as unvaccinated students barred from varsity

By Nkosana Dlamini

Firebrand student representative group, ZINASU has written a strongly worded letter to Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Amon Murwira registering its discontent over the barring of unvaccinated students from some university campuses.

The student group singled out Chinhoyi University of Technology as one of the institutions that have blocked returning students from its campus.

In a letter to Minister Amon Murwira 30 August, Zinasu secretary general Tapiwanashe Chiriga said while his organisation encouraged students to get vaccinated, the controversial move was against the country’s laws.

“It should be stated that at the present moment, there is no law that makes access to education the preserve of persons who have been vaccinated.

“On the contrary we take refugee in the Constitution of the Republic whose print states clearly a number of fundamental rights that will be violated should this persist.

“Section 68 of the Constitution for instance, requires all administrative conduct to be lawful, reasonable and substantially fair. We thus find measures taken by institutions of higher learning to be drastic, unfair and illegal,” said the student leader.

Chiriga said while the country should be commended for its dedicated efforts to ship staggered quantities of the life-saving drugs from outside, it was apparent that the current stocks could not cover the entire nation at once.

According to government, as of 20 August 2021, a total of 2 552 573 had received their first dose while 1 619 463 had taken their second.

Many locals continue to throng vaccination centres with apparent signs the process was failing to meet the surge in the demand of the jab.

In his correspondence to the minister, Chiringa insisted it was unreasonable for authorities to penalise citizens who may have been beaten to the scramble for the life-saving drug.

“The right to access education cannot be abrogated on the basis of one’s speed to access vaccines,” he said.

Government is keen to inoculate at least 10 million locals by end of the year with eyes firmly set on the country notching up the much-desired national herd immunity.

But in its bid to achieve the milestone, government has used discrimination against the unvaccinated as a tactic to drive many locals to vaccination centres.