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UNISWA LectureRs ‘want sex’—SRC

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By SIBONGILE SUKATI - SWAZI TIMES-20-Sep-2009

MBABANE - Lecturers at the University of Swaziland have been accused of sexually harassing students in return for good marks

The lecturers, especially at the Kwaluseni Campus, allegedly give students poor marks when they deserve good marks and then ask for sexual favours in return. This is contained in an end of term report submitted by the outgoing Student Representative Council (SRC) to the Dean of Student Affairs, which was also copied to the Vice Chancellor Cisco Magagula.

The report which is signed by the SRC secretary Pius Vilakazi, states that they had a fairly healthy relationship with the administration during their tenure in office. The report, according to the SRC, is aimed at reviewing the 2008/2009 academic year in order to see if there had been any improvements in the students’ lives at the institution.

The report addr-esses five issues, namely academic, security, hostels, maintenance and refectory issues. “In the university there are academic issues that, despite repeated protests by students, still prevail,” reads the report. Examples given here include the late issuing of identity cards, the shortage of books at the library. The SRC also said the computers at the university were not enough for all the students and complained about the computer laboratory at the library which they said opens an hour later than the library itself and shuts an hour before the the library is closed.

“Sexual abuse by lecturers is one kind of abuse, affecting mainly the female students, occurring in the university but goes without being officially reported,” reads the report. Instead students tell their friends and sometimes the members of the SRC. “A lecturer will give a student a poor mark when she deserves a good pass mark and when she complains about such a mark the lecturer then demands sexual favours in return for improving the students mark,” states the report. The SRC called upon the administration to set up a commission of enquiry that will look into such unprofessional conduct by lecturers and other types of unprofessional conduct by lecturers.

“In the event the administration is unable to set up such enquiry, the SRC will then be duty bound to engage the Ministry of Education to do what the university administration would have failed to do,” states the report.

The SRC said they were glad that the semesterisation issue, that caused so many problems for everyone in the university, had been put to rest adding that it was good that students’ recommendations were also considered. On the issue of security, the SRC recommended that all door locks be swapped or substituted, because there were many cases of theft whereby the thieves used duplicate keys to enter student’s room and steal their property.

The students said instead of them being protected the university had installed cameras on the university structures and not the hostels. The students also complained about only getting one roll of tissue per week and the poor quality of the toilet paper.

They further complained about the lack of hot water and the quality of food at the refectory, stating that it lacks variety and was very expensive. The SRC in conclusion said it had been a very challenging year in office, but showered praises on the DSA, saying his office had been the best they had worked with. When contacted the DSA, Musa Kunene, said he had not received the report probably because he was not in the office on Friday.

“I was at the Ministry of Education and then went to the Luyengo Campus so i did not get the chance to go to my office,” said Kunene. He said he would go into the office this morning where he assumed he would find it.


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