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Women free to wear miniskirts - Lokodo

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Ladies enjoy music at a show in Kampala last year.

Ladies enjoy music at a show in Kampala last year. The Ethics and Integrity minister, Fr Simon Lokodo, has made a U-turn on the miniskirt Bill. PHOTO BY MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI 

By  Stephen Otage

Posted  Friday, January 17  2014 at  02:00

In Summary

Responding to a query from the Prime Minister, the Intergrity minister said the Bill was misinterpreted.

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Kampala- Ethics and Integrity minister Simon Lokodo has said government has never banned the wearing of miniskirts because there is nothing immoral about wearing them in public.

Fr Lokodo made the remarks when Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi pressed him to explain to the country how Parliament passed legislation against wearing miniskirts. Lokodo denied existence of such a law.

“Honourable Prime Minister, it is not true that a Bill was passed and there is no legislation against mini-skirts,” Fr Lokodo said.

“The Bill went through Cabinet and became a government Bill known as Anti-Pornography Bill, which condemns and makes a felony of any indecency and immoral behaviour and nowhere in the Bill ever appears the word miniskirt,” Fr Lokodo explained.

This was during the National Budget Consultative Conference attended by ministers, heads of government departments and agencies at in Kampala Serena Hotel yesterday.

The Secretary to the Treasury, Mr Keith Muhakanizi, sought to know whether Parliament inadvertently used its wisdom to come up with a law to check the uncontrollably growing population. It is then that Mr Mbabazi asked Fr Lokodo to shade light on the piece of legislation, which in the public eye had reduced Parliament into a House that had degenerated into trying to moderate what citizens wear.

The minister said that the only law he is aware of is the Anti-Pornography Bill which condemns and makes it a felony for any indecent and immoral behaviour. He emphasised that nowhere in the Bill or regulation therein ever appears the word ‘mini-skirt’ which in itself is not indecent.
Towards the end of last year, the Ugandan media was awash with reports that Parliament had passed the Anti-Pornography Bill, which banned women from wearing miniskirts and any material exposing their body parts and intended to cause sexual excitement. A cross section of women had vowed to defy it.

Fr Lokodo was quoted saying women wearing anything above the knee would be arrested but yesterday he seemed to retract the line.

sotage@ug.nationmedia.com