|Suspension is a disguised quick fix but a good move.
Mable Twegumye Zake – @MableTwegumye
Any allegation of sexual offence or confirmation of that offence charged against someone is damage not only to the person of interest but also to their family or their place work. This is the reality of the natural law of reputation from why, what we do that is negative will affect even that which are attached to and unfortunately for Makerere University aside from its never ending woes, now it is being hit by Sexual harassment scandals.
Sadly, this could have been averted and many would point fingers at the administration for not seeing this coming down hard on them because endless rumours of sexual harassment at Makerere University have for decades been plastered against the giant institution but passed off as mere allegations by those in authority.
Not even rumours should be taken for granted especially if not investigated can cause irreparable damage to an institution whose huge burden of maintaining a legacy has been negatively affected by student and staff strikes woes combined.
Even with Policy and Regulations Sexual Harassment Prevention in place but seemingly kept in the main Library and in the offices of those concerned, I doubt that 10℅ of students at Makerere University or even Lecturers have ever set eyes on that document.
The same document that provides those rules supposedly to protect and prevent sexual harassment against students and the other way round also states that there is supposed to be sensitisation for both sides but how often does the University do this?
Periodical sensitisation drives or workshops calling on students to attend sessions on sexual harassment even if done through Student Guild Programs with provision of the right information with the University’s support would help the victims to open up and probably prevent them from turning to the media and social media to expose the culprits for themselves?
This means that the only best solution to handle sex scandals at this level was to temporarily suspend the accused sexual harasser as the University carries out its independent investigations as stipulated in the University’s Policy and Regulations Sexual Harassment Prevention 2006.
Otherwise, it would be embarrassing enough for the same accused lecturer to continue making appearances in the lecture rooms to teach yet his photographs are all over social media and on television caught in the act; this is already damaging to him and the the University.
If the students would follow the stipulated regulations and report these sexual harassment allegations to the concerned administrative offices, it would make it valid for a workable process. However, the fourteen days process within which contact is made to the accused and the three months until the whole situation is handled can’t stop the daily media attacks if the information is already leaked into the wider population, therefore the quick fix would be Makerere to suspend the staff in question.
The first ambassadors of academia in a University are the staff who should be one and the same with the ethics of a profession for which a University banks its reputation and on this Makerere needs to tighten the grip on its strategy for hire just like it does for enrolment of students and strictness on payment of tuition fees.
|Suspension Was Mob Justice Devoid of Reason.
Dalton Kaweesa – @DaltonKaweesa
Just about every conversation last week and part of today is about the alleged sexual assault on a former student of Makerere university by one of the administrators from the academic registrar’s office. Can I say that , Symptomatic of Uganda ‘s population the social media and exaggerated feminists are engaging in mob reasoning and by extension dissonance without carrying out a deeper reflection of what could have happened. This is where I equally fault my alma mater. It is painful trying to understand how makerere has put itself between a hard place and a rock in explaining itself.
Yes, a hard place of trying to redeem its image , deflect attacks from political and women leadership and a rock in ensuring it finds a lost lasting a panacea for the sexual allegations, protect the rights of its staff and integrity.
But isn’t Makerere in a way practicing mob justice. Sexual harassment is a mask used by students to conceal their inept in academics and underdevelopment in social fabrics. Let me first dwell on the Makerere policy on sexual harassment. This policy dwelled on staff – student relations in both definition and practice largely paints Makererere university as a secondary institution with underage learners. Let it be known by the framers of the policy that Makerere university just like other universities have students that are above the legal age of consent. And from this , I want to say that it was a misnomer on part of the framers. In putting context to this is that when we go to a higher institute of learning , it is not just for the pedagogical purposes, it is partly and significantly meant to shape us into a life that long awaits us. And this can extend to the social ties that we re gonna have in the future. future partners are found here , therefore for a policy to curtail this , is a fundamental infringement of human rights. And relationships shouldn’t be restricted among students. The policy is also blind to the fact that sexual advances can emanate from the student. So at what point does it cross into sexual harassment , I beg to be educated. This takes me to the real subject of discussion, and will formulate my conclusion on whether the Makerere staff was wrongfully suspended yet he has a right to be heard by a competent body.
Was this girl really harassed to warrant a suspension of a staff. The shared picture shows no signs of harassment. For those that have not had the chance to see the picture. Racheal Njoroge takes a picture while the staff is having an oral job down south – and babe is standing. There is no sign of fallen box files because it an office setting, the girl is neither pinned on the wall to show over power by the male staff. And the world wants to make us believe that it was sexual harassment , come on. Indeed this girl should charged instead – for lack of an appropriate charge under under our law books , I suggest a charge of obtaining pleasure under false pretence.
All of us know that for prima facie of sexual harassment should fulfill some ingredient which include but not limited to unwelcome sexual advances, physical harassment and coercion. Do we see this in the picture not really. The written complaint of this girl only vilifies the staff that she was the one that was harassing her. She claimed the staff fondled her breasts and screamed out to the next neighbor. And in the picture show a woman who is cut out to black mail and end the career of a man. So vicious and evil that she had the time to lure the guy – poor guy! I have been a student of makerere and the image of it touches me , I should confess, my experience is that girls have developed the tendency of blackmailing male staff.
The kneejerk reaction from Makerere University has taken away the man’s credibility and no amount of exoneration after the commission of inquiry can restore. Makerere was by far and large wrote to engage in mob condemnation and handing a suspension to the staff before hearing him out.