PARLIAMENT – The chairperson of select committee into allegations of sexual violence in schools and institutions, Robina Rwakoojo has called on lecturers to desist from using sex to deny students marks.
“When we interacted with the students, they informed us that some of the lecturers wait for the time when a student is about to graduate and they plot their move which I think is very unfair,” Rwakoojo said.
While receiving submissions from Makerere University management presented by the director of Gender Studies, Uzobia Baine on Thursday at parliament, Rwakoojo said it is very annoying for a parent to entrust the university with their children and at the end of the day, they are sexually harassed.
Baine said basing on a report conducted within the university, they found that impunity is one of the factors frustrating the university from fighting the vice because those who engage in the acts feel that nobody can touch them.
According to the university management, they acknowledged poor academic monetary and fear to jeopardize careers of colleagues involved in the vice which has led to some cases yielding no result.
Rwakoojo adds that they are going to give Police names of individuals who have been sexually terrorizing students at higher institutions.
She added that they are optimistic that if they give Police names of the culprits, the vice will reduce as other perpetrators may fear to engage in such acts.
“It is painful to imagine as a mother that a student could be abused in such a way.
“Students say the vice is more serious at MUK. They say they decide to sleep with their lecturers since many don’t want to imagine the pain that their parents go through to raise tuition fees for them, instead of failing they accept to sleep with the lecturer in order to graduate,” Rwakoojo notes amidst pain.
Luuka south county MP, Steven Khisa explains that the university has not done enough even with the policy in place and this indicates the low rate of reporting by students because most of them fear to be reprimanded by the top office bearers. Instead, most of them resort to keeping the issue to themselves; Khisa wonders why the university has not put in a mechanism to report outside the university to enable students to report with ease.
“As a committee, I think the university management should put surveillance cameras in every office at the university to monitor sexual activities because most of the acts happen in offices since they are always closed,” Khisa emphasizes.
According to the students, lecturers know about the policy and they no longer use them at the university but take them to lodges or hotels outside the university, adding that they even intimidate you that it’s up to you if you don’t come so if am supposed to graduate next year, I will just go because I don’t want to become a laughing matter that I fail university.
The chair Rwakoojo who is also Woman MP, Mitooma, blames parents for not doing enough to talk openly about sexual abuse right from homes so that when they go to the university, they can safeguard themselves from the sexual perpetrators.
The committee requested for a file of cases reported by the university against the perpetrators because they saw a delay in prosecution because according to the university management, some of the lecturers have been given bail and they don’t what happened.