Makerere University has been in the spotlight over allegations of rampant sexual harassment at the university.
The most prominent being the “sex for marks” allegations levelled against lecturers.
Now the university has unveiled tougher penalties against those accused of sexual harassment.
The new revised policy and regulations against sexual harassment at the university will, among other punishments attract dismissal from the university once found guilty of the act.
The university has also appointed a team of one hundred members of the staff to investigate cases of sexual harassment whenever they occur in accordance to the university revised policies to deal with the problem.
According to the revised policy, a person found guilty of sexual harassment will be liable to dismissal and criminal prosecution among other punishments like suspension, demotion, fines of up to 2 years salary and compensating the aggrieved party.
However, the deputy vice chancellor in charge of finance and administration prof. William Bazeyo said the university will not wait for investigations.
He noted that the university will act immediately once the case of sexual harassment is raised.
“This thing of first investigate. That is for police. For us we shall dismiss you and then find you in court” he said.
Even though sexual harassment has always been a concern by female students against their lecturers, the policy does not address the concern against indecent dressing by students.
Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine the director Gender mainstreaming at Makerere University noted that most sexual harassers are using the excuse of indecent dress code to sexually abuse female students at the university.
“Assuming that if somebody is wearing for example Hijab then she immune their sexual harassment… unfortunately that’s not the case. Most harassers will use the excuse saying she was indecently dressed as if that is the reason but is just an excuse,” she said.
Makerere and Gulu University are jointly implementing the Safer University project with the aim of eliminating sexual and gender based violence against women and girls with support of UN Women.