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Makerere top hostel Olympia suspends custodian over sexual harassment

Olympia hostel in Kikoni, near Makerere University. The management has suspended the custodian for alleged sexual harassment. (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA – Olympia Hotel management, has bowed to students’ pressure

and suspended its custodian, Mr. Reuben Nahabwe for allegedly feasting on female students.

Olympia is one of the top hostel in Kikoni, a Kampala suburb — housing Makerere University students.

Dr. Joseph Byamugisha, the managing director of the Hostel a letter dated Monday August 19 confirmed that Nahabwe has been fired.

“It has been alleged that you have been involved in acts of sexual harassment against residents of Olympia Hostel,” Dr. Byamugisha’s letter reads adding that “following these allegations, management has decided to suspend you from work to pave way for thorough investigations.”

Nahabwe’s suspension follows a number of complaints of sexual harassment raised against him by female students.

On Monday, student leaders led by Marion Kirabo, the Makerere University Guild Minister for Gender, Ethics and Integrity issued an ultimatum to Olympia Hostel management to suspend Nahabwe by 10:00am on August 20, 2019.

This followed a resolution by Makerere Guild leadership to set up an independent sexual harassment committee to investigate the matter further.

During a consultative meeting between the hostel managers and Makerere University officials on Tuesday, it was resolved that an independent committee be constituted to investigate the sexual harassment claims at the hostel.

The meeting was attended by Jovita Byamugisha, the wife to the hostel proprietor, Patricia Mworozi and Alexandra Kamatsiko, both student representatives from the hostel, Marion Kirabo and Severino Twinobusingye, the Legal counsel to the hostel management.

A letter by the hostel management firing the hotel custodian

The committee established will constitute; a member of the civil society, a student representative from the hostel, a member of Makerere University Gender Mainstreaming directorate, two representatives of Olympia Hostel and a representative of Makerere Students Guild as an ex-official member.

The meeting asked management of the hostel to restrict employee access to student rooms for security and preventing related cases.

The meeting also proposed that Makerere considers setting up a committee to address issues that affect off campus students.

“Today, the management of Olympia responded to our call and Suspended Mr. Reuben Nahabwe who has been harassing the girls in ways so ignoble,” Kirabo said in a statement issued on Tuesday evening.

Adding that; “We thank management for heeding to this call and hope that the investigations pin Reuben hands down because, as the old adage goes…There’s definitely no smoke without fire!” Two weeks ago, residents of Olympia Hostel led by Patricia Mworozi started an online petition calling for the custodian’s dismissal.

In the petition, female students stated that; “We are entitled to the right to protection from degrading treatment and his continued presence and position is a risk to the safety and dignity of all women.”

Makerere University last month suspended three members of its academic staff for alleged sexual harassment.

They are Vincent Ssajjabi, an assistant lecturer in the School of Economics and Medard Twinobuhungiro, an Assistant Lecturer in the School of Business and Jackson Sekiryango from School of Languages, Literature and Communication.

Makerere Vice-Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe said that the three were suspended pending investigations for alleged sexual harassment against female students.

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