Defend yourself, Makerere tells lecturer implicated in sexual harassment

Defend yourself, Makerere tells lecturer implicated in sexual harassment
UNDER FIRE: Dr. Swizen Kyomuhendo, a social researcher at Makerere University, and a former spokesperson of Obudhingiya Bwa Bwamba. Courtesy Photo

Makerere University has instituted proceedings to look into Dr Swizen Kyomuhendo, a senior lecturer mentioned in the alleged sexual harassment of female students.

This comes just a day after a story appeared on NBS TV in which Dr Kyomuhendo, who teaches in the Department of Social Work and Social Administration (SWSA), is seen luring one of his students to a lodge to have “some fun.” In the story, the victim claimed that the lecturer had promised to adjust her marks if she ‘cooperated.’

Dr Kyomuhendo, however, denied engaging in any act of sexual harassment when the TV reporter sought him out on phone for a comment.

And now, Prof Josephine Ahikire, the acting principal in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS), has written to Dr Kyomuhendo to come clean on the matter by Thursday, March 1, 2018.

“A story was run on NBS TV on the night of February 26, 2018 which specifically highlighted you to have been involved in attempts to exchange sex for marks with a female student. Given the grievous effects of such a report on you as a member of staff, the College and the University at large, there is a need for an appropriate response from us as a College as soon as possible,” reads part of Prof Ahikire’s letter dated February 27.

Dr Kyomuhendo is not the first lecturer to be mentioned in the sex-for-marks allegations at Makerere University. In July last year, Brian Musaga, a former assistant lecturer in the college of Business and Management Studies (CoBAMS), was implicated in a report into sex for marks and sexual harassment.

Six of the eight female students interviewed by the committee that investigated the scandal, implicate Musaga, for professional misconduct. The lecturer is battling similar accusations in court. A copy of the July 25, 2016 report shows that, the lecturer would work until late in the night and weekends where he would invite female students to his A22 office in the School of Statistics and Planning (SSP) and make sexual advances.

Who is Dr. Swizen Kyomuhendo?

Dr Kyomuhendo boasts at least 23 years of teaching and research at Makerere University, having joined the institution as a lecturer in 1994. His professional page in Linkedin talks of experience in in Social Policy and Planning, Organisation Development, Management of Agencies and Projects, and Research, Monitoring and Evaluation.

He graduated from Makerere University in 1990 with a degree in Social Work and Social Administration. He briefly worked as a Personnel Officer in the Ministry of Information between 1990 and 1991.

In 1993, Kyomuhendo joined MacMaster University in Canada for a Master of Arts degree in Social Welfare Policy, graduating in 1994. In 2007, after decades of teaching at Makerere, he enrolled for a Doctorate Degree in Social Work and Social Policy.

The PhD which he attained in 2012 was a scholarship under the Makerere/SIDA/SAREC Program, collaboration between Makerere University and Gothenburg University in Sweden.

His PhD thesis was on “Linking Policy Interventions for HIV prevention to lived experiences of lakeshore communities in Uganda: A discourse analysis.”

Dr Kyomuhendo has undertaken a number of assignments at multi-country, national, agency and community level, mainly in research, strategic planning and review, training and facilitation, and capacity building.

Dr. Kyomuhendo is also a former spokesperson of the Bamba cultural institution, the Obudhingiya Bwa Bwamba.

There are unconfirmed reports that after being exposed, Dr. Kyomuhendo has tendered in his resignation but the university publicist, Ritah Namisango told this publication that they have not received his resignation letter.