Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has released the findings of their investigations on allegations lodged against former Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) director general Aubrey Sumbuleta on sexual harassment of female employers and found him in the wrong, saying he should be prosecuted for indecent assault.
The body has also recommended compensation for victims. At least eight women were allegedly sexually abused by Sumbuleta at the time he was boss at the national broadcaster.
The investigations were instigated by Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) after it petitioned Ombudsman Martha Chizuma in July this year to investigate sexual harassment allegations at MBC and other parastatals, government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
MHRC took up the probe and Ombudsman Chizuma is part of the commission.
Presenting the findings of the report at Amaryllis Hotel in Blantyre on Monday, MHRC chairperson for gender and women’s rights committee, Stella Twea said Sumbuleta should be prosecuted under the Gender Equality Act (GEA).
Twea said 10 witnesses including former and current employees of MBC were interviewed.
Sumbuleta was also given the right to be heard and was legally represented.
“The Commission funds that the four female employees were sexually harassed by Mr Sumbuleta at different occasions and places. During all these occasions, the sexual harassment happened in his office,” said Twea reading the report.
She said Sumbuleta violated Section 6 of the GEA.
Some of the sexually abused women were married and coy to testify.
Sumbuleta used to either inappropriately touch them and the investigation report cites an incident in which he asked one of the female employees in his office to “bend over and pull up her dress” so that he could masturbate and ejaculate while seeing her nudes.
The woman refused and Sumbuleta moved her from television to the radio.
MHRC has recommended police to make their own probe and if they establish criminal liability against Sumbuleta, the Director of Public Prosecution should commence criminal proceedings in court.
Twea said during investigations hearings, Sumbuleta denied all allegations against him.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :