Varsity bans ethnic groups By Pius Rugonzibwa THE CITIZEN The University of Dar es salaam (UDSM), recently marred by student riots over alleged administrative flaws, has banned all social and ethnic associations at the institution with immediate effect. A memo issued to students through their organisation Daruso and signed by university dean of students Dr Martha Qorro said such associations were organs that weakened unity. The dean cited ethnic conflicts in neighbouring countries saying such problems could not be allowed to grow among students of different ethnic backgrounds at institutions of higher learning. There is need to encourage students to join associations that cut across the majority of students with more diverse interests rather than cling to district, regional or geographic associations. Students at UDSM come from heterogeneous societies and any association falling short of this should not be encouraged, read part of the memo. Tribal associations and ethnic identifications are very common especially during student government elections. The groupings are normally used as fora for by aspiring student leaders to woo voters from their own home areas. However, has also not been uncommon to have student politics degenerate into chaos, especially when they are shaped along tribal lines. Dr Qorro said the decision to ban tribal associations at UDSM was passed by the university council on March 13 this year, following concerns over growing disunity among students. Students have welcomed the move, dismissing speculation that it had to do with last week's riots. Daruso president Deo Daudi said students had initiated the move to de-register ethnic groupings. Meanwhile, the student body's presidential elections were reportedly going on peacefully. A new student government is expected to be announced soon.