Harare, August 1, 2014 – The International Institute of Philanthropy (IIP) has filed an urgent High Court chamber application against the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (Zimche), which has claimed it was not a registered organisation in accordance with the Zimbabwean laws.
IIP early this month awarded music superstar Oliver Mtukudzi and a host of other luminaries in the country, including Prophetess Ruth Makandiwa with doctorate degrees.
But Zimche issued a press statement challenging IIP’s authority to issue the doctorate degrees.
IIP, through its lawyers Chinawa Law Chambers, argued in its court papers that it was a duly registered institution in line with the laws of the country.
It argued that Zimche had no jurisdiction over IIP’s activities.
“The applicant (IIP)’s scope and sphere of activity have nothing to do with higher education which the respondent (Zimche) is established to regulate,” reads the application.
“The respondent has mixed issues about the applicant’s status and objects. Applicant is non-educational and therefore beyond the respondent’s statutory domain.
“As a result of the respondent’s confusion, a lot of negative publicity has been made about the applicant and legitimacy of its exercise.
“The negative publicity has already caused serious reputational harm to the beneficiaries of the applicant’s lawful activities who are esteemed members of society.
“If left unabated, the confusion and publicity will cause irreparable harm to the applicant and these innocent parties,” the application reads.
The lawyers argue that Zimche had no jurisdiction to issue a press statement in a State newspaper without due process and without according IIP the right to be heard and make representations before making any adverse decision, pronouncement and announcement which harm IIP and the reputation of it beneficiaries.