Mr Kasongo Kafwembe, a deaf person filed a case in the High Court against the ZCAS University (1st Respondent) challenging the denial of access to enrolment for a degree in the university. The denial was based on his disability. The petitioner alleges that the denial of access to enrolment for a university degree was discriminatory and breached his rights as a person with disability. The petitioner also challenges the failure by the state (2nd Respondent) to promulgate rules, guidelines or measures to ensure non-discrimination against persons with disabilities in accessing education.
The petitioner argues that the denial of access to enrolment for his chosen degree breaches his rights to equal protection of the law and freedom from discrimination, as provided in Articles 23(2) and (3) of the Constitution of Zambia. In addition, the petitioner argues that the failure by the state to put in place rules, guidelines, and measures to ensure non-discrimination against persons with disabilities in accessing education is a breach of Section 22 of the Persons with Disabilities Act and the state’s obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCPRD).
The petitioner, therefore, seeks an order from the High Court compelling the 1st Respondent to avail application forms and fairly assess his application for his chosen degree programme, and for the 2nd Respondent to put in place regulations and other measures to ensure access to education for persons with disabilities.
The matter comes up before the Lusaka High Court on 18 August 2021.
ISSUED BY THE SOUTHERN AFRICA LITIGATION CENTRE AND ZAMBIA DEAF YOUTH AND WOMEN