PCCB mulls case studies on varsity ‘sextortion’

09Oct 2019
James Kandoya
The Guardian
PCCB mulls case studies on varsity ‘sextortion’

THE Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) is set to conduct a major study to ascertain the magnitude of ‘sextortion’ in higher learning institutions and employ effective measures to tackle it.

Sextortion is a form of corruption in which people entrusted with power – such as government officials, judges, educators, law enforcement personnel or employers – seek to extort sexual favours in exchange for something within their authority to grant or withhold.

The National Anti-Corruption Strategy and Action Plan Phase III (2017-2022) (NACSAP III) coordinator Stephen Agwanda told The Guardian in an interview yesterday that preparations for the survey will start soon.

He said PCCB was finalizing some procedural requirements for the issue, noting that this exercise is aimed at showing weaknesses in the systems that pave the way for the entrenchment of sextortion.

The review will point at some vulnerable areas contributing to the problem such as preparation and correction of examinations, he said, highlighting that a few institutions will be selected as case studies.

Once it is over, the findings will be disseminated to stakeholders for discussion and later come up with a workable mechanism for eradicating the problem.

"Section 7(a) and section 7(c) of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Act no 11 of 2007, demands the institution to conduct reviews of corruption trends and disseminate the findings to stakeholders for implementation," the coordinator underlined.

“However, since our system review is scientifically structured, PCCB will select some higher learning institutions as case studies due to limited resources. It is our hope that the findings will give a clear picture the magnitude of the problem,” he affirmed.

In a study entitled "Fighting Sextortion on Female Students in Higher Learning Institutions in Tanzania: A Human Rights Based Approach," Rosemary Mukama  said study showed that some  male academicians engage in unethical, immoral, and unprofessional behavior towards female students.

Furthermore, the findings showed that in some circumstances some male academicians are exposed to sexually suggestive moves from female students who feel uncertain in their studies and start imagining offering sex for exam favours.

She however noted that there was no evidence that female academicians were also predators of sex for academic favours even though some may engage in voluntary relationships with male students, if rarely.

Mukama, a lecturer in the Department of Economic Law at Mzumbe University and an advocate of the High Court noted that the majority of higher learning institutions do not have proper mechanisms to deal with the problem.

The study recommended, inter alia, that higher learning institutions formulate and abide by correct gender policy frameworks and provide periodic education on gender-based violence to academic staff and students.

Another idea is establishment of statutory mechanisms for reporting, investigating, disciplining and where relevant adjudicating on gender violence issues.

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