Varsity bid to resolve sexual abuse case fails

Tuesday June 25 2013

Talks to resolve a sexual harassment case against a university vice-chancellor out of court have borne no results, the Industrial Court heard Tuesday.

Multimedia University College had proposed to settle out of court claims that its vice-chancellor, Prof Walter Oyawa, sexually molested Ms Justa Wawira — a former Corporate Affairs director at the university.

Ms Wawira’s lawyer Tuesday said no progress had been made in the talks.

The woman has accused Prof Oyawa of demanding sexual favours from her and touching her inappropriately many times against her will. She has sued the VC and the university’s council for sexual harassment.

But Prof Oyawa in his response filed in court states that the claims lack evidence. He instead accuses Ms Wawira of filing the suit to embarrass and intimidate him, and to injure his reputation.

The university approached her for a settlement after the matter took a turn that exposed council members to civil jail for alleged contempt of court.

“The university has attempted to do an out- of-court settlement,” Ms Wawira told the Nation after Tuesday’s court session, “but so far we have not agreed on anything.”

Full hearing

She said the matter would go to a full hearing because the university bosses disobeyed a court order that restrained them from terminating her employment.

The contempt application was Tuesday adjourned after the university requested time to get additional lawyers to defend individual council members including Prof Mabel Imbuga, Prof Paul Shitanda, Ms Rosemary Gitonga and Mr Paul Kukubo.

The parties are expected back in court on Thursday.