Varsity students exposed to sex predators as they squat into rundown homes

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

THOUSANDS of young female students enrolled at the Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE) live with the constant threat of abuse by community sex predators following a sharp accommodation crisis that has often driven the scholars to dilapidated farm and mining homes close to the higher learning institution.

This, according to BUSE vice chancellor Eddie Mwenje, has affected their performance in their studies.

The situation is even worse for female students forcing them to often rent into substandard single rooms and engaging in “awful anti-social acts”.

“Most of the living conditions are not a conducive and safe environment for female students, encourages truancy and consequently poor concentration on academic work by students,” said the BUSE boss while addressing a Friday graduation ceremony presided over by State universities Chancellor and President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

BUSE is located in Bindura some 87km north-east of Harare in Mashonaland Central province.

The university can only accommodate about 400 out of more than 6 000 students.

A single room in nearby Chipadze or Chiwaridzo high density suburbs would often require $400 for a student to see through a semester.

In his address, Mwenje said construction of student hostels should be a priority as this affected their studies.

“Students’ accommodation still remains a challenge. The university has an enrolment of 6000 students and is only able to accommodate 398 students in its accommodation facilities,” he said.

“The situation is not conducive for students learning and shows, how young girls become more and more exposed to the vice of the society.

“There is however some light at the end of the tunnel as there are negotiations and agreements with several players to construct hostels with a capacity to take 4 000 students.”

He added, “This will create a conducive learning environment for our students and protect them from some of the vices of the society especially against the girl child.”

BUSE offers courses within the field of science, technology, engineering mathematics and commerce.