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MSU bars unvaccinated students from campus

05 Dec 2021 at 06:44hrs | Views
Midlands State University (MSU) has notified students reporting to campus for face-to-face lectures to have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and to provide proof of vaccination as a condition for entry into campus.

In a notice to students dated 3 December 2021, MSU Deputy Registrar (Academic Affairs) Dr Kudzaishe Mudzingwa said unvaccinated students will be expected to take a valid COVID-19 PCR test and provide a valid PCR negative test certificate twice per week during the duration of the face-to-face lectures.

Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) secretary-general Tapiwanashe Chiriga said even though they encourage the vaccination of students, ZINASU said the move by MSU is discriminatory.

"Our position remains as it has always been. While we encourage students to get vaccinated, we will never agree with the baseless unfair discrimination that comes with the barring of students from campuses over vaccination status."

"The right to accessible and affordable education cannot be determined by vaccination status," said Chiriga.

Chiriga said the move taken by the state-owned university has no basis at law and stands on very shaky scientific ground.

Chiriga said ZINASU encourages the government and institutions to open up more vaccination centres but not to engage in command vaccination.

Chiriga said command vaccination will fuel illegal activities such as forgery of vaccination cards.

"This has only one effect, the forging of vaccination cards which is unfortunate," he warned.

A researcher and author, Daniel Mugwanda said the decision by MSU is shocking and discriminatory as government has not made vaccination mandatory.

"Clearly the institution has chosen to set a dangerous precedence of what will become a perpetual form of discrimination in the access to education."

"The government has done so well in the drive toward vaccination yet it has not yet in any form made vaccination mandatory," he said.

Mugwanda said the move infringes the constitutional right to education and suggested that MSU should have stuck to urging students to observe World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations to stop the spread of COVID-19.

"So, for an institution like MSU to resolve in such a way on a process that remains voluntary is a defeat even to the constitutional right to education."

"Overtime the government has emphasized on institutions to pay obeisance to WHO recommendations, which would have been the right  decision to make and buttress by ensuring  compliance to the said recommendations in its campuses," added Mugwanda.

Source - Chamunorwa Matanhike
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