By Iminza Keboge
Published July 8, 2017
Uganda is set on disciplining any civil servant who wears any outfit that shows body parts–cleavage, butt crack, navel, thighs, knees, the back–and underwear.
The Ministry of Public Service has issued guidelines on the dress code that require non-uniformed female and male public servants not to wear any tight- fitting clothing.
While women may keep well-groomed, neutral polished nails, they are forbidden from keeping nails that are longer than three centimetres or have been painted with bright or multi-coloured polish.They are also expected to keep their facial make-up ‘simple and not exaggerated’ besides not wearing extremely short dresses or skirts, or sleeveless or transparent blouses and dresses while on duty.
Any special dress code for male civil servants?
Men must wear long-sleeved shirts, loose-fitting trousers, jackets and ties, well groomed short hair and no open shoes or brightly coloured clothes during working hours.
But why is the Government purporting to guide adults on so personal and private matter such as dressing?
Adah Muwanga, Director of Human Resources in Uganda’s Ministry of Public Service, says it is the duty of the Government to “guide on the administration and management of the public service” and that “this is how we want the public to view us.”
But why does it look like the Government is targeting female public servants?
Mrs Muwanga tells BBC Focus on Africa news programme that the Government has decided to implement its Public Service Standing Orders on Dress Code of 2010 after having received numerous complaints that women officers are “dressing in an unacceptable manner, with mini-skirts and showing body parts which otherwise generally should be covered in Ugandan society.”
She says the dress code is for both male and female civil servants and that any one who disregards it shall be disciplined.