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University of Zimbabwe ordered to provide male student's their right to accomodation
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
February 16, 2007

On Sunday 4 February 2007, the University of Zimbabwe published a notice in the Sunday Mail newspaper, headlined "Important Notice For Students". The Notice stated that as a result of policy changes, all students whose categories are listed below no longer have campus accommodation for the coming semester (of 2007). These categories included:

  • Students who were residing in Complex 1, 2 and 3, (namely male students)
  • Local students who were residing in New Hall

Only female students who needed accommodation were allowed to apply for the same. The effect of this notice was that all male students who had been residing in above named halls of residence no longer had accommodation for the second semester starting on the 26th of February 2007.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) is concerned about the "policy changes" by the University of Zimbabwe, which changes effectively discriminated against male students who constitute 67% percent of the student population by denying them any accommodation. Such discrimination was/is in clear violation of section 23 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, section 5 of the University of Zimbabwe Act Chapter 25:16, Article 2 of the African Charter on Human & People’s Rights and Article 2 (2) of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights.

ZLHR IS PLEASED TO NOTE THAT: on 14th February 2007, in the High Court of Zimbabwe case of Jeremiah Bamu & Others v University of Zimbabwe & Others No. 596/07, it was order by the Honourable Court that:

  1. The University of Zimbabwe be and is hereby directed forthwith to receive applications from all male students for accommodation in the following halls of residence which have been reserved exclusively for male students" - Montrose; Georgette; Manfred Hodson Hall; New Hall; New Complex 1; New Complex 5; Teachers’ Hostel; Mount Royal Residence and Parirenyatwa Medical School Residence.
  2. The University of Zimbabwe be and is hereby directed to consider all applicants for accommodation in a fair and transparent manner.

The effect of this order is that male students seeking accommodation may immediately proceed to apply for accommodation in the Halls of Residence specifically reserved for them. Should the University of Zimbabwe fail to accept applications from male students or not reserve the above stated Halls of residence for male students it shall be in contempt of court.

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