Harare Polytechnic College has asked all prospective students to seek police clearance in order to have their applications considered.
In a circular for the 2018 enrolment requirements, the college advised that all courses required the police documentation.
“Applications are invited from suitably qualified people to undertake the following courses beginning in January 2018. Please note: all applicants should have 5 Ordinary Levels including Mathematics, English for all courses and Science for other courses. Police clearance is a requirement for all applicants,” read part of the notice.
Principal Tafadzwa Mudondo said that requesting police clearance from prospective students would not affect whether they are considered into the college or not.
He said the idea to ask for police clearance was purely administrative and was not motivated by the need to discriminate anyone based on a past criminal record.
“There is no malice in asking students to have police clearance; in fact since we started it, more than 5 000 applications have been received. Even members of Parliament and councillors are adhering to the requirements and have brought applications for their relatives with police clearance.
“We are simply doing it for the safety of the students and the college. There has been an upsurge in crime at the college and we only want to know who we are enrolling,” Mudondo said.
He added that the requirement is in part supported by Statutory Instrument 81 of 1999 which states that students may apply in any form that the principal requests.
Human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa quizzed on what basis the college had based their requirements as it was unconstitutional.
She said even in prison, prisoners are allowed to get an education.
“It is clearly and blatantly unconstitutional to request students to produce police clearance. The Constitution states that anyone has a right to education whether they are in prison or not. Regardless of political affiliation education is a right for all,” she said.DN