of Zimbabwe medical student leader victimised
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Movement of Zimbabwe (SCMZ)
October 12, 2007
Christian Movement of Zimbabwe (SCMZ) is deeply concerned by the
unjustified victimization of students by university authorities.
Fortune Nyamande a fourth year medical student at the University
of Zimbabwe (UZ) has been struck off the medical school academic
register under unclear circumstances. In a letter dated 20 September
2007, but delivered to him on the 11th of October, the deputy academic
registrar Mrs N Takawira notified him that the medical school had
removed him from its academic register for failing to attend examinations.
This is despite the fact that Fortune was attending his brothers'
funeral who tragically passed away in South Africa just a week before
the examinations. What is more appalling is that he notified the
administration about the funeral before the exams with supporting
documents which included repatriation papers, South African Police
reports, burial order, death certificates and documents from the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The medical school administration through
Mr S Chitiyo (registrar) gave him permission to attend the funeral,
but surprisingly, they informed him afterwards that he was no longer
going to write his fourth year exams but had to reapply for readmission
to the very same authorities. Under normal circumstances he should
have sat for special supplementary examinations at first attempt.
As SCMZ we strongly believe that Fortune is being victimized for
his active involvement in student and civic issues. He is the founding
Chairperson of the UZ medical school SCMZ branch which has been
carrying out community outreach programmes vis-a-vis the provision
of free health education and services to disadvantaged communities.
He is currently the Student coordinator for the Zimbabwe
Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) and has successfully
coordinated short courses and workshops on health and human rights
for medical students and junior doctors through ZADHR and the Hospital
Doctors Association. He has also participated in various international
forums on health and human rights were he openly castigated the
government's inadequate response to the health sector crisis
in Zimbabwe. He has been advocating for the incorporation of human
rights issues in the undergraduate medical curriculum as a way of
equipping future medical personnel with skills and knowledge on
handling victims of human rights abuses such as torture patients,
refugees and victims of organized violence. He is the past president
of the Zimbabwe Medical Students Association where he worked with
the Student Representative Council in championing students'
As a students ecumenical body, we will continue praying for Fortune
during these trying times as he is trying to cope with both the
pressures of bereavement and the abrupt disruption of his studies.
We would want to encourage him and other victims to refuse to be
discouraged but to declare hope in the lord, for life will change
for the better because God holds the future of Zimbabwe in his almighty
hands. We also urge the university authorities to reconsider their
destructive decision which is also untimely since the country is
battling to retain the few remaining medical personnel.
"I even I, am the one who comforts you, says God. Why are
you afraid of mere humans, who wither like grass and disappear"
Isaiah 52 v 12
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