Harare – A teachers union in Zimbabwe on Friday said it wanted President Robert Mugabe to rescind a ban on corporal punishment because schools risked turning into “jungles.”

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“We’re receiving reports from our members in schools that cases of indiscipline are on the rise,” said Raymond Majongwe, the secretary general of the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) in a letter to the 90-year-old president.

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“We’re convinced the outright removal of corporal punishment from our schools will definitely turn our schools into jungles with no master or authority,” he said.

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Zimbabwe’s new constitution, adopted in 2013, bans corporal punishment.

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Earlier this month the High Court said corporal punishment meted out by courts to juvenile offenders was also no longer allowed.

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Majongwe said in his letter: “We don’t support the battering of learners but we’re saying keeping corporal punishment hanging in schools, at times without even applying it, has helped to maintain some measure of discipline.”

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In 2005, a high school pupil from Seke, just outside Zimbabwe’s capital Harare, collapsed and died when he was beaten by a headmaster for misbehaving