Kissing Ban Riles Zimbabwe Students

Kissing Ban Riles Zimbabwe Students

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Generic shot of a couple kissing

circular from the university authorities said those “caught in an
intimate position” on the Harare campus would be disciplined.

“In this age to say I’m no longer allowed to kiss or hug someone… is unreasonable,” Tsitsi Mazikana said.

The university has not commented on the students’ objections to the ruling.

It was issued
at the beginning of the new academic year as part of a list of
“misconducts that attract immediate eviction from halls of residence”.

The list of 11 points also includes bans on squatters and cooking in bedrooms.

Fourth on the
list of behaviour that will result in eviction says: “Caught in intimate
position (kissing or having sex in public places)”.

Ms Mazikana,
who is the students’ gender representative, said that the campus already
had strict rules for those fraternising with the opposite sex.

In single-sex
hostels, for example, residents were only permitted visitors in the
foyer and no visits were permitted after 22:00, she said.

Ms Mazikana
said the ban had less to do with morality and more to do with
controlling students who were “not happy about the way they are running
the university”.

“If they were
talking about anything moral they wouldn’t be placing condoms in the
hostels and in the clinic, but… kissing and hugging – there’s nothing
immoral about that,” she told the BBC’s Newsday programme.

The Zimbabwe
National Students Union (Zinasu) said the university administration had a
habit of instituting arbitrary rules without consulting student bodies.

The union was
organising a petition against the campus kissing ban, Zinasu’s Gift
Maposa told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme.

There were
already strict regulations infringing the students’ rights to
demonstrate – introduced in 1997 – which instilled a fear of being
expelled, he said.

The BBC’s Brian
Hungwe in the capital, Harare, says the students often accuse the
university authorities of being out of touch with the young.

Beer was banned on campus about seven years ago, which proved very unpopular, he says.

Source: BBC Africa

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