Kampala: Five-member Committee that was appointed to investigate the vice of sexual harassment at Makerere University has recommended for Policy review, investigation and disposal of cases of sexual harassment, raising awareness and training of students and lecturers.
Makerere University has in the recent months been in spotlight over shooting cases of sexual molestation of female students and that prompted University vice chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe to constitute a Committee Chaired by Professor Sylvia Tamale to investigate the escalating cases of sexual harassment.
Recently Makerere University Senior Administrative Assistant Edward Kisuze was arrested and prosecuted over sexually-molesting a former University student Rachel Njoroge who accused him of forcing her into sex for correction of examination marks.
During the handing in of the report Prof Sylvia Tamale said Sexual harassment deprives its victims of constitutionally guaranteed rights, including the right to dignity and to be free from inhuman and degrading treatment.
She applauded the University Management for setting up a committee to investigate the vice and in the same breath requested management to adhere to the recommendations of the report.
“we have recommended for strengthening of counselling services, allocation of adequate resources for prevention, management and rehabilitation of survivors of sexual harassment on top of stepping up of awareness and training of the University community about the illicit practice and professional conduct to weed out loopholes that are exploited by perpetrators,” she said at the University.
She said in the report members contend that in line with the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and University Gender Equality Policy, the University should adopt an affirmative action policy Programme in order to close the gender gap in its administrative and academic activities as these aggravate unequal power relations at the University.
“They called for developing of a fair and transparent system of examination assessment including well-defined evaluative criteria and a meaningful system of feedback to address examination related complaints and discouraging consensual romantic relationships between staff and students,”
In his remarks, Prof. Nawangwe commended the committee for carrying out investigations and preparation of the report within the stipulated time.
He noted that the message is clear, “we are committed to stamping out this vice by ensuring that our policies reiterate our zero tolerance towards sexual harassment and make it risky for anyone to engage in it” he added.
Other committee members include: Associate Professor Consolata Kabonesa, and Associate Professor Christopher Mbazira, Associate Professor Betty Ezati and Associate Professor Aaron Mushengyezi