Staff uniforms have in the recent years become a must have for different organisations around the country.
The fashion trend is lately being enforced by various organisations for different reasons including ensuring that staff members stand out in society improve smartness among staff and solving the issue of indecency, among others.
However, there are other specific reasons why an organisation may introduce a staff uniform like in the recent case of the Judiciary which did so in a bid to make it easy for members of the public to identify genuine staff from imposters.
Serving their intended purpose
Ms Winnie Priscilla Nalubowa, a female aviation engineer at Uganda Police Air Wing (PAW), the aviation unit of the Force, shares her personal experience of wearing a uniform.
“On occasions I have worn a police uniform, people treat me with royalty, a lot of respect. There are instances, I have for example gone to the bank and the staffers there single me out and immediately help. My police uniform has enabled people see me in a different light,” Ms Nalubowa says.
The only setback, she says, is wearing the uniform when the public falls out of love with police staff, any of the officers including herself are easily singled out.
Speaking of the love and hate relationship between police and members of the public, a male police officer, who preferred anonymity, says despite the perks that come with wearing a police uniform, on some occasions, it is a burden.
“I have in the past been targeted and stoned during one of the city riots. I almost lost my left eye,” he says.
The Kampala Metropolitan Police Deputy Spokesperson, Mr Luke Owoyesigire, says despite the setbacks that come with wearing the uniform, it is the organisation’s policy for every officer to wear it.
“We need to be identified by the people we serve. But also, if corruption tendencies happen and the victim needs to easily identify the police officer, it becomes easy for them to report the officer because all the uniforms bear name tags,” Mr Owoyesigire says.
In circumstances where a police officer misuses the uniform, further disciplinary action is taken.
“ For instance, there are cases where a police officer retires and their uniforms are used by their children to do funny things. There are also police officers, still in active service, whose uniforms are used inappropriately by close associates. Like a recent case of a police officer of Wandegeya police barracks whose son picked up a uniform and went posing around and was arrested,” Mr Owoyesigire adds.
The duo was later reprimanded by police.
At other institutions such as Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), there are days staff members are required to wear uniform.
Ms Patience Rubagumya, the URA commissioner for Legal Services and Board Affairs, says the days are Monday and Wednesday.
“On Mondays, the men wear long-sleeved shirts (with a silver tie) while the women wear quarter-sleeved shirts (with a scarf). The outfits are accompanied with navy blue skirts and trousers. Each person is given a pair by the organisation,” Ms Rubagumya says.
The Wednesday corporate wear is the most recognisable among staff members because of the “captain like stripes” that accompany the shirts.
“We are a service-orientated institution and so, the purpose of the uniforms is mostly for identification purposes. Many times, we have had instances where a client comes to our offices and a cunning individual starts impersonating a URA staff,” Ms Rubagumya says.
When one dislikes the uniform
“In such circumstances, one may wear the uniform while on duty and when going home, they remove it and then put on an everyday attire,” she explains.
That way, one does not attract unnecessary attention from members of public.
Ms Jane Nambi, a banker, says much as wearing a corporate uniform is a great idea, she dislikes it because it reminds her of school times.
“I don’t like wearing anything branded because such uniforms make me look like a walking billboard,” Ms Nambi tells this reporter.
Ms Nambi says it is only for specific special days at the office, including when her bank is holding an event such as a promotion, that she wears a corporate outfit.