Harare Polytechnic students who were recently suspended for three weeks for violating COVID-19 regulations after they were caught hugging on campus have appealed to authorities to review the punishment.
It has emerged that over four students were suspended for hugging other students “in direct violation of WHO, Government and institutional standing COVID 19 regulations.”
One of the suspended students who spoke to Pindula News on condition of anonymity appealed to authorities to review the punishment which he viewed as too harsh. Said the student:
Firstly, we admit that what we did was wrong and reckless. We were given the regulations last year so we were aware of the rules.
We are just appealing to authorities to lessen the punishment or change it altogether. A three-week suspension is a bit harsh considering that examinations are at hand. We’re left with less than 6 weeks before we write and due to COVID-19-induced lockdowns, we never learnt properly throughout our course. It’s hard on us, I don’t want to lie.
Personally, I am trying by-all-means necessary, and unnecessary to make sure that my parents are not aware of this suspension. They already have other issues bothering them, I don’t want to hurt them further.
We are kindly asking them to review their decision. We’re ready to pay fines and on top of that, we’re asking for forgiveness and we have been since day one. We’re sorry.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the government of Zimbabwe did not explicitly ban hugging.
They recommend the maintenance of social distancing which requires that individuals stand about 2 meters apart from each other to avoid the spread of the Coronavirus.