KAMPALA – Deputy Solicitor General, Christopher Gashirabake has responded to sexual harassment allegations against him with a detailed dossier, vehemently trashing the claims by his accuser Ms. Smantha Mwesigye.
Ms. Mwesigye accused Mr. Gashirabake of sexual harassment for over 10 years, a fact the deputy solicitor general totally denies, saying he had no interest whatsoever in having any sexual relationship with Ms. Mwesigye.
He instead accuses Ms. Mwesigwa of illicit behaviors including the unacceptable manner of dressing that Mr. Gashirabeke found revealing and seductive.
He says that on many occasions he has been forced to chase Ms. Mwesigwa out of his office for indecency that he presumes unprofessional for a lawyer of her standing.
“What I recall to be my point of departure with my accuser, was the manner of her dressing which I found unacceptably revealing and seductive to say the least (and feel free to call me old fashioned),” he notes in an eighteen paged dossier.
On two occasions, he says, “When she came to my office in attire I deemed inappropriate, I called in my Secretary to be present and I in the presence of my Secretary told Ms. Mwesigye that her dressing was inappropriate for the office she held and I chased her out of my office”.
“I also recall another instance when Ms. Mwesigye came to my office and she had dyed her hair red. I also told her on that occasion that such hair colour was not acceptable and was certainly unprofessional for a lawyer of her standing. I on that occasion also asked her to leave my office and not come back until she’d gotten back her normal hair colour. My worry about this which I shared with Ms. Mwesigye was, assuming His Excellency the President called the Attorney General for a meeting and the AG in turn asked that I send him one of my Officers, if I sent Ms. Mwesigye with that hair colour, in what light would that cast our department?”
He has also denied a claim that his harassment against Ms. Mwesigwa took the form of him removing her from contracts committees and denying her opportunities for International travels which according to her are avenues for making money.
“I wish to categorically state that I have never disadvantaged Ms. Mwesigye in any way and particularly knowingly, because I believe every officer in the Department needs to have an opportunity to take International travel and also sit on the number of Committees that would leave them with still enough time to carry on their normal duties for the Directorate.”
Mr. Gashirabake says it has not been easy at all for him, or indeed for any of his family members to keep calm and collected as his tormentor took to all manner of media outlets.
The ministry set up a committee in February 2019 to investigate the allegations made by Senior State Ms. Mwesigye against Mr Gashirabake.
On March 6, Ms. Mwesigye, wrote to Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda to act against Mr Gashirabake, claiming that her bosses have not helped her reign in on the Deputy Solicitor General, whom she claimed has sexually harassed her for nearly 10 years.
Solicitor General Francis Atoke said in December 2018, he received a formal complaint from Ms. Mwesigye and on 6th February 2019, constituted a Sexual Harassment Committee to investigate the allegations.
Mr Atoke said the Committee has since reviewed the evidence that Ms Mwesigye submitted to his office and ordered Mr Gashirabake to defend himself in the claims which he has since responded to.
Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga last week tasked the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to speed up sexual harassment Investigations also if the subject is not satisfied with the outcome of the committee, she can appeal to the Commissioner for Labour and Industrial Relations, and to the Industrial Court, if not satisfied with the labour commissioner.