KAMPALA — President Museveni has in a bizarre development appointed Mr. Christopher Gashirabake, who is facing numerous accusations of professional and sexual misconduct, as a judge at the Court of Appeal.
Deputy Solicitor General Gashirabake has for the last few years faced a long list of sexual harassment allegations made against him by Senior State Attorney, Samantha Mwesigye.
In a dust-raising scandal that shook the nation, Mwesigye pinned Gashirabake for sexually harassing her for a period of 10 years while working together at the Justice and Constitutional Affairs ministry.
Mwesigye has since been shocked by Gashirabake’s elevation and insisted that the new Court of Appeal judge is a sexual predator who must not be cleared by Parliament’s vetting committee.
“How in the hell has Gash gotten appointed to the CoA! What is wrong with this Country! After all I have been through trying to even just get the matter of him sexually harassing me heard and then this! Do I need to 1st off myself to be taken seriously!,” Ms. Mwesigye wrote.
President Museveni said he was acting on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission.
“In exercise of the powers vested in the President by Article 142(1) of the 1995 constitution. I have, acting on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission, appointed persons listed below as Justices of Appeal and Judges of the High Court, respectively”, reads Museveni’s August 13th, 2021 letter.
Ms. Mwesigye says both President Museveni and Judicial Service Commission are aware of Mr. Gashirabake’s sexual predatory behaviors but “this has broken me in ways I can’t explain!”
“The appointing authority is aware! The JSC is aware and indeed they did ask him about it in the interview! I thought I had it in me to fight this but this has broken me in ways I can’t explain! I can’t live with this pain,” Ms. Mwesigye told this website.
“I am all prayed out! Only I can put an end to this! Life has no more meaning”.
The Judicial Service Commission didn’t respond to our request for a comment.
Mrs. Mwesigye maintains that Gashirabake consistently sent her unsolicited love notes while assigning her or sometimes on WhatsApp, which she ignored.
As a result of rejecting his sexual advances, Gashirabake revolted and victimised her at the workplace, by denying her travel opportunities abroad and removing her from key contract committees in various government agencies.
Mwesigye also accuses Gashirabake of putting his hands on her thighs in a sexually suggestive manner and repeatedly touching her on her breasts and patting her on her buttocks.
A female staff at the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs said sexual misconduct allegations against Mr. Gashirabake date back over 10 years.
She told this website that she is aware of the allegations but was not willing to give more details about the matter.
“You might even be recording me now. I don’t trust journalists,” she said.
Gashirabake, in his defence at the High Court last year, claimed that Mwesigye often sexually aroused him by her provocative dressing.
In his defence filed through his lawyers of Mutabingwa & Co. Advocates at the Industrial Court, Mr Gashirabake claims that on many occasions, Ms Mwesigye often seduced him by wearing skimpy clothes that exposed her breasts.
“At one time, the 2nd respondent (Mr Gashirabake) protested to the complainant when she came to the office dressed provocatively and seductively with her breasts almost uncovered. The complainant kept nagging the 2nd respondent but was not interested in the complainant. Having failed to achieve her objective, the complainant started making malicious allegations that the 2nd respondent was sexually harassing her, which is not true,” the Deputy Solicitor General said in his defence.
This website understands that President Museveni has since submitted the names of the appointees including that of Mr. Gashirabake to the Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah for vetting and approval but activists have launched a campaign—asking Parliament’s appointment’s committee to block his appointment to the Court of Appeal.
However, a committee that was instituted to investigate the claims was not convinced that Mwesigye had no avenues to report the alleged harassment for a decade, hence clearing Gashirabake of the allegations.
Gashirabake, who is no stranger to controversy and corruption, was among the officials who illegally and irregularly received part of the UGX 6 billion reward for their contribution towards government’s victory in an oil tax case in London a few years back.
He said at the time that the team spent long hours in office handling the case, including perusing through Heritage Oil’s claims, preparing and perusing through government’s statements of defence, among others.