Women legislators under their umbrella body the Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) have asked the Ministry of Education and Sports to investigate the Kibuli Secondary School head teacher.
Hajji Ali Magara, is currently on forced leave since January as he is investigated over allegations of sexual harassment of a student. Legislators said if Magara is found guilty, he should be prosecuted and dismissed.
“Magara has been known for sexual harassment for many years but his students, teachers and parents feared to report him; he should be dismissed” said Monicah Amoding, the UWOPA Chairperson.
Addressing a media briefing at Parliament on Monday, 06 March 2018, Amoding noted that efforts to fight sexual violence against girls in schools have been frustrated by parents who negotiate with perpetrators out of court.
“Parents negotiate the matter outside court; the girl in conflict is sent for marriage and the case dies prematurely” said Amoding.
The Programme Manager of Raising Voices, Hope Wambi said many parents decline to report cases of sexual violence against children due to fear of being attacked by perpetrators. She added: “We need assurance that when people report such cases they will be protected”.
Hon Rose Mutonyi (Manafwa), asked the Education Ministry to tackle sexual harassment during supervision saying, “Inspectors should not only target teachers, but pupils as well, counselling them on how to report cases of sexual violence”
The legislators also want the Ministry to cancel licenses of teachers or school administrators who commit sexual offenses.
UWOPA is currently drafting the Sexual Offenses Bill, which is aimed at strengthening protection of women and girls from sexual abuse.