KAMPALA — The Parliament Appointments Committee approved seven judges including a one Christopher Gashirabake, who is facing numerous accusations of professional and sexual misconduct.
President Museveni recently appointed Gashirabake and Justice Eva Luswata as judges at the Court of Appeal.
The committee chaired by Deputy Speaker Anita Among also approved five judges including former Deputy Director of Law Development Centre, Florence Nakachwa, former Acting Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Tom Chemutai, the former Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Vincent Wagona, and former Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions to the High Court.
The others are Alice Kyomuhangi, and Lawrence Tweyanze, the former Deputy Registrar in the Department of Inspectorate of Courts.
Their approval brings the total of Court of Appeal justices to 15 and 57 High Court judges.
A source on the committee said that all the President’s nominees including Gashirabake were approved.
Several members of the public had asked the Parliament’s appointment committee to block Gashirabake over a long list of sexual harassment allegations made against him by Senior State Attorney, Samantha Mwesigye.
Mwesigye pinned Gashirabake for sexually harassing her for a period of 10 years while working together at the Justice and Constitutional Affairs ministry.
Mwesigye was last week 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”.
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.