Sabbath Examinations Prompt Legal Action from Adventist Students in Zimbabwe
16 July 2020 | According to NewsdzeZimbabwe, University of Zimbabwe Seventh-day Adventist Students Association is legally challenging the scheduling of examinations at the University of Zimbabwe on Saturday.
The Adventist students group, with representatives Maranatha Chigogora and Natasha Nyathi, cited University of Zimbabwe (UZ), the registrar of the institution, as well as Higher and Tertiary education minister Amon Murwira, as respondents in the court case. The university has, so far, refused to move exam dates for the Adventist students.
The students request alternate exam dates and times and have suggested the university place them in quarantine to ensure they are not suspected of cheating by learning from others about the exams.
On July 1, the university announced an exam schedule that included Saturday exams.
“The applicants being members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church cannot avail themselves for the said examinations on the above-mentioned dates, as this conflicts with their professed faith, in particular their belief that the biblical seventh day, Sabbath, starts from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday,” states the Adventist appeal.
“Applicants have fundamental constitutional rights to freedom of conscience, the right to education and the right not to be unfairly discriminated against. The right to freedom of conscience allows them to practice, propagate and give expression to their religious beliefs. Given that the applicants cannot take up the exams on Saturdays, they will definitely suffer prejudice if the examinations are to proceed in their absence.”
The Adventists also suggest post-sunset examinations on Saturday.