Gomba West Leg­is­la­tor Hon. Rwakoojo Robina has urged com­mu­ni­ties to use the law and pun­ish per­pe­tra­tors of sex­ual vi­o­lence in in­sti­tu­tions of learn­ing and have their cer­tifi­cates of ser­vice re­voked. She made this rec­om­men­da­tion dur­ing a tweet-chat on the just con­cluded in­quiry into sex­ual vi­o­lence in in­sti­tu­tions of higher learn­ing.

The Par­lia­men­tary Se­lect Com­mit­tee on In­quiry into Al­le­ga­tions of Sex­ual Vi­o­lence based its in­ves­ti­ga­tion on in­sti­tu­tions of learn­ing in Uganda. The in­quiry arose from a mo­tion pre­sented to Par­lia­ment by Hon. Anna Adeke Ebaju, (Na­tional Fe­male Youth Rep­re­sen­ta­tive) who was prompted by the many alarm­ing me­dia re­ports of gross acts of sex­ual vi­o­lence in in­sti­tu­tions of learn­ing at all lev­els.

Hon. Rwakoojo said that in the ex­e­cu­tion of the In­quiry, the Com­mit­tee em­ployed both qual­i­ta­tive and quan­ti­ta­tive ap­proaches to col­lect and analyse the in­for­ma­tion re­ceived from var­i­ous stake­hold­ers. She said that 39 in­sti­tu­tions com­pris­ing of gov­ern­ment min­istries, agen­cies and de­part­ments, pro­fes­sional bod­ies, civil so­ci­ety or­gan­i­sa­tions and three in­di­vid­u­als in­ter­faced with her com­mit­tee. In ad­di­tion, the Com­mit­tee vis­ited a to­tal of thirty-three (33) in­sti­tu­tions of learn­ing com­pris­ing of eleven (11) pri­mary schools, eleven (11) sec­ondary schools, two (2) pri­mary teach­ers’ col­leges and nine (9) Uni­ver­si­ties where it in­ter­faced with the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the in­sti­tu­tions, learn­ers and dis­trict of­fi­cials from whom it elicited vi­tal in­for­ma­tion, form­ing the ba­sis of the rec­om­men­da­tions in the re­port. Pub­lic hear­ings where twenty-one (21) wit­nesses ap­peared and tes­ti­fied and re­viewed rel­e­vant lit­er­a­ture on the sub­ject mat­ter were held.

When asked on the ex­tent of sex­ual vi­o­lence in the in­sti­tu­tion of learn­ing, the MP said that the com­mit­tee found out that sex­ual vi­o­lence is wide­spread in vir­tu­ally all the in­sti­tu­tions of learn­ing vis­ited. 39 per­cent of the re­spon­dents in­ter­viewed from pri­mary, sec­ondary and ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions said that they had per­son­ally ex­pe­ri­enced some form of sex­ual vi­o­lence or ha­rass­ment or knew of class­mates and peers who had ex­pe­ri­enced it.

Hon. An­thony Okello MP, also a mem­ber of the com­mit­tee, when asked on why the vice is wide­spread said that there are nu­mer­ous lim­i­ta­tions and the in­ter­ven­tions to fight this evil are lack­ing. He added that many of the peo­ple in our com­mu­ni­ties are ig­no­rant about sex­ual vi­o­lence and oth­ers have gone as far as nor­mal­is­ing it. He was how­ever glad that clin­i­cal of­fi­cers and med­ical doc­tors are now al­lowed to fill in Form 3 is that is given to a vic­tim sex­ual vi­o­lence af­ter an as­sess­ment by the Po­lice.

The com­mit­tee also noted that sex­ual vi­o­lence in in­sti­tu­tions of learn­ing is ma­jorly per­pet­u­ated by teach­ing staff and stu­dents/​pupils. As per their sam­ple space, at pri­mary leve1, 36 per­cent were promi­nent per­pe­tra­tors. At the sec­ondary level, 30 per­cent of the re­spon­dents re­ported male teach­ers, 25 per­cent re­ported fe­male stu­dents and 22 per­cent re­ported male stu­dents as the ma­jor per­pe­tra­tors of sex­ual vi­o­lence. In uni­ver­si­ties and ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions, 42 per­cent of the re­spon­dents in­di­cated that male lec­tur­ers were the per­pe­tra­tors. Hon. Rwakoojo was dis­grun­tled by these sta­tis­tics and said it’s rather un­for­tu­nate that the peo­ple par­ents with their chil­dren abuse this trust and end up de­stroy­ing the lives of in­no­cent chil­dren.

The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Re­becca Kadaga urged the mem­bers to first read and in­ter­nalise the re­port by the Se­lect Com­mit­tee be­fore it is dis­cussed on the floor of the house.