Makerere University sexual harassment victim sues Red Pepper Publications

Makerere University sexual harassment victim sues Red Pepper Publications
Red Pepper Publications offices in Namanve

The Red Pepper Publications has been dragged to court for publishing information likely to reveal identity of a former Makerere University student who has sued the institution anonymously over sexual harassment.

The former student filed an application in the High court seeking permission to sue the university for failure to protect her from sexual harassment. The application was filed last month through her lawyers; Isaac Ssemakkadde of Centre for Legal Aid and Sheila Namahe of Maxim Advocates.

The girl contends that Makerere University failed to protect her from sexual harassment and alleviate its impact during her studentship at the university between 2012 and 2017.

She also says the university failed to investigate, discipline or prosecute the perpetrators of sexual harassment. She further claims that Makerere management failed to implement comprehensive reparations for her and violated her rights to health, dignity, education, equality and non-discrimination.

However, in the course of the application hearing, Centre for Legal Aid says Red Pepper published information likely to reveal the identity of the girl.

Centre for Legal Aid lawyers are now seeking a court declaration that “the respondent’s (Red Pepper) disclosure, in its issue of February 16 and 17, 2018, of information likely to contribute to identification of their client, a victim of sexual harassment, infringed or threatened to infringe her rights protected by Article 21, 24 and 27 of the Constitution.

The Red Pepper editions of February 16 and February 17 published the first name of the girl. Now the lawyers are seeking a permanent injunction stopping The Red Pepper, its journalists and editors or any other person from making a publication likely to identify the girl.

The lawyers are also seeking an order directing the publication to compensate the girl for the injury caused and an order directing the company to pay suit costs.