Several Ugandan MPs accused of sexually harassing their Personal Assistants

Several Ugandan MPs accused of sexually harassing their Personal Assistants
Sexual harassment at work

Female Personal Assistants to Members of Parliament are accusing the legislators of sexual harassment.

The matter came up on Monday 10th June, 2019 when members of the Uganda Parliamentarians Personal and Research Assistants Association presented a petition to the speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga over poor working conditions and remuneration by the legislators.

The association, which is led by Festo Kajura in interim capacity, is composed of over 150 members.

Some female members told Kadaga that they face sexual harassment from MPs who employ them.

Diana Bakaire, a member of the association, said several ladies employed by the legislators are pressurized into sex by the MPs so as to keep their jobs.

She said they were finding it to keep their jobs at Parliament and pleaded for the speaker’s intervention.

Bakaire said it is mostly young girls from Universities and secondary schools who end up being exploited but can’t speak out.

Ann Adeke Ebaju, the National Youth MP said it is unfortunate if MPs are really involved in sexual harassment of their employees.

She noted that MPs are not above the law and urged the girls to speak out openly.

Benard Atiku, the Ayivu county MP says that the female personal assistants could be facing the problem since they are contracted by individual members of parliament.

Apparently, each legislator hires their own personal assistant.

Atiku says those making the accusations should table evidence to avoid appearing like there are blackmailing MPs.

Although Kadaga didn’t respond to the complaints of sexual harassment, she encouraged women last week to report sexual harassment in workplaces.

This came at a time when Samantha Mwesigye, a senior State Attorney accused her superior Christopher Gashirabake of sexual harassment.