THERE is rampant sexual exploitation and general abuse of female students enrolled at Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) by local men and landlords, Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) leader, Nelson Chamisa, has said.
By James Muonwa I Mashonaland West Correspondent
Of the estimated 14,000 students enrolled at the tertiary institution, only 1,000 stay at the campus hostels, while the rest seek alternative accommodation in nearby suburbs, particularly the populous Coldstream and Gadzema areas.
It is at these boarding houses where female learners are susceptible to sexual abuse by monied men, commonly referred to as “blessers” who demand sex in exchange for money.
Also, greedy landlords usually force as many as six ladies to live crammed like sardines in a single room.
Addressing CCC supporters at a rally held at Gadzema Grounds in Chinhoyi last Sunday, the charismatic opposition leader chastised local men folk to stop taking advantage of desperate girls facing challenges wrought about by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s bad governance, which has also affected the education sector.
“Before l came to this rally, l was speaking to students’ leaders at CUT who told me that of the 14 000 students at the university, only about 1 000 stay on campus while the rest stay in the locations, where l hear they are being abused by local men, they are being exploited… they are finished,” said Chamisa.
“Please stop exploiting our girls…stop this greediness of wanting to fry eggs before they hatch, let us let the eggs be chicks.
“l was told of this issue (sexual exploitation) and it got me worried sick.”
Female students at tertiary colleges, just like their male counterparts, face myriad financial problems following withdrawal of government grants in recent years, a development that has thrown many into prostitution and vice inorder to supplement meagre stipends from their parents and guardians.