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Women Activists Call for Suspension of Deputy Solicitor General

A group of women activists from various civil society groups yesterday rallied behind Ms. Samantha Mwesigye to call for the suspension Deputy Solicitor General, Christopher Gashirabake pending investigation of the sexual abuse allegations against him.

Ms Mwesigye accuses the Deputy Solicitor General of sexually harassing.

The activists told reporters that while sexual harassment is a form of human rights violation and is prohibited both in the Employment Act and Penal Code Act, concerned authorities have not given it the required attention ever since Mwesigye reported that her boss, Gashirabake was harassing her sexually.

Sarah Bireete, the Programs Director Centre for Constitutional Governance pointed out that sexual harassment regulations (2012) require a committee to respond to such allegations within 14 days after a complaint has been reported, yet this hasn’t been the case for Samantha and no valid reason has been given.

“While its alleged that a committee on sexual harassment was set up by the Ministry of in February, there is no evidence that the committee held any formal sitting; and if it has, the complainant wasn’t notified which is contrary to the law,” she said.

Rachel Wanyana from UWONET tasked the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to treat the matter with the urgency it merits and to put up an independent gender sensitive committee to investigate the complainants

“The ministry should explore ways of deploying the complainant in a department where she feels safe and ask the accused to step down pending investigations,” Wanyana added.

Samantha Mwesigye says she reported the matter on 2nd September 2018 and that no action had been taken after 10 months, which prompted her recently to turn to the media.

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“I petitioned the IGG but I never got any reply on the matter, I later went to the Prime Minster who listened to me and promised support but I have never heard from him again,” she said.

On 14 May 2019, the Solicitor General Francis Atooke in a press release said he had instituted a committee to look into the matter and that findings would be made public as soon as investigations are complete.

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