/ 18 September 2008

Ugandan govt considers miniskirt ban

The Ugandan government plans to set out measures to combat prostitution, including publishing names of offenders in newspapers, on the internet and on television, Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo confirmed on Thursday.

The government is also concerned about women wearing miniskirts, which is seen as promoting immorality and prostitution as well as distracting drivers and causing motor accidents, Nsaba Buturo said.

”We want to shame these prostitutes who are doing the business, including those who are running brothels,” he said.

”Women of 60 years and below are putting on miniskirts and this is crazy. The miniskirt can cause an accident when you are sitting with a woman in a car. Men while driving gaze out when they see these women and this causes accidents,” he said.

There is no direct law forbidding women from wearing of miniskirts in Uganda. A decree banning the short skirts in the country was issued by the country’s late military ruler Idi Amin, but it went out of use after the dictator’s ouster in 1979.

Although prostitution is illegal, it has mushroomed on the streets of Uganda’s major towns in recent years and the ministry of ethics estimates that numbers of prostitutes now run to thousands.

A person convicted of prostitution in the Ugandan courts is sentenced to six months’ imprisonment but there is no record of any conviction in the country’s history because police say they find it difficult to prove the charges.

”Prostitution is gaining ground on Kampala’s streets and in nightclubs in and around the city,” Nsaba Buturo said. ”That aside, it is not only destroying homes; it is blighting the future of young people and becoming a major facilitator of serious infections such as HIV/Aids.” — Sapa-dpa