The Ministry of Public Service has issued ‘new guidelines’ to be followed in respect to how officers dress to office, in the process banning miniskirts.
According to a release titled: ‘Dressing for the non-uniformed officers in the Public Service’, signed by the Permanent Secretary Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwire, indicates that public servants are supposed to ‘dress decently and in the generally acceptable standards in the Uganda Community’.
According to Ms. Musingwire, some Public Servants seem to have negated their responsibility to dress decently.
‘It has however, been observed that public Officers have continued to dress in a manner that does not portray a good image of the service and does not fall in the generally acceptable standards of the Community’.
But quoting Section F-J (a) of the Public Service Standing Orders, 2010, Ms. Musingwire says the provisions therein provide for dress code for females serving in the Public Service. Under the same section F-J (b) provides for the dress code of men.
Among the prohibited issues is ‘a skirt or dress that is not above the knees’; ‘sleeves or transparent dresses’; ‘clothing that does not cover the cleavage’; flat shoes (except on Doctors’ advice); ‘bright-coloured hair’; and ‘tight-fitting dresses’.
It should be recalled that in the 1970s President Idi Amin banned miniskirts in Uganda, and women found in breach of the directive were occasionally subjected to arrest.
However, with the ‘return to normalcy’ between 1979 and now, most women, even those in public service, have since thrown caution to the wind and dressed in a ‘provocative’ manner, a development that could have led to the directive by the Public Service PS.