In a move that promises to spark a stormy debate, Uganda is to ban miniskirts. Well that is if Ethics and Integrity Minister, Father Simon Lokodo’s proposal gathers the one thing it surely lacks. Favor*.

The former Kaabong parish priest cum minister is being quoted as saying that very soon, a new piece of legislation banning miniskirts might see those convicted sent to jail for as many as 15 years or pay fines of up to UGX14m ($5384). While banning clothing well above the knees is no new thing given that former President Idi Amin Dada had something similar in place during his 15-minute days of fame, this is the second time the issue is coming up in a space of five years.

In 2008, the then Ethics and Integrity minister, Nsaba Buturo called for the banning of miniskirts because according to him, women wearing them distract drivers and cause traffic accidents! I must admit that is one of the top harebrained assertions I have encountered my entire life just like the entire idea of banning so called ‘indecent wear’. And not like I am an advocate of indecency.

As Lokodo goes ahead to arouse the debate that many thought had exited with his predecessor, Buturo, the question of whether priotisation in this country is priotised comes to thought. From the look of things, no. Hardly had the nation resurrected from the storm alias the now shelved draft Marriage and Divorce Bill 2009 than miniskirt talk sprouted. Meanwhile, teachers are threatening to strike, doctors are sending patients to fend for themselves because they don’t have drugs, road potholes are deepening, plans are on to arrest drunk-pedestrians and more scams are making headlines yet no one is being convicted.

So instead of enforcing laws that seek to reduce on road carnage, we draft legislation that argues miniskirts lead to accidents. Sounds like very many skimpily dressed women cross upcountry roads plied by rotting buses every second so indeed we need a law to end that. After all, holding a plate is a remedy to hunger.

You will not blame those that see all this is as an immaculately perpetuated plan to shift the masses’ attention from the more pressing issues. We are either reading the priority list from the bottom upwards or someone is making the situation worse by adding more less relevant issues to that list further overshadowing the things Ugandans want addressed. And in this case, that person is Simon Lokodo.


Uganda’s Ethics & Integrity Minister, Fr. Simon Lokodo wants miniskirts banned.

While Mr. Lokodo wages a war on what people wear, many of his own people back in Kaabong (551.4 km north of Kampala) are yet to own enough clothes to cover their entire bodies. And I say that not to ridicule them but to strike further the irony the entire situation holds. Many of them are yet to see tarmacked roads; are victims of unpredictable cattle rustling raids, disease and oh wait, all of them are victims of the massive yet-to-be resolved theft of PRDP funds in the Prime Minister’s Office. And their son is launching a spurious war on what a handful of Ugandan women are wearing.

So how about we solve the issues that are prolonging the current state of people like those in Mr. Lokodo’s native Kaabong other than hopping from one irrelevant issue to another. There is nothing wrong with jailing chicken thieves, drunk-pedestrians or even mini-skirt wearers (I will need more convincing on this one) if only the stomachs which swallow money meant to rehabilitate areas peeling out of years of conflict and stunted growth are dealt with to ensure the money does what it was released to do.

But when so many crucial things remain hopelessly unfinished; the corrupt walk freely as pension scam victims weep, children are leaving primary school unable to spell their names right or count to ten, programs such as NAADS wilt to death, hospitals are less of drugs and adequate staffing while we move to buy MPs iPads just to mention a few of signs of a nation on the wrong lane, ideas like Mr. Lokodo’s are bigger than the word RIDICULOUS.

And yes, once again, questions rise on the relevance of the entire Ethics and Integrity Ministry.

*UPDATE: Parliament passed the Anti-Pornography Bill commonly referred to as the Mini-Skirt Bill on December 19, 2013. While the bill doesn’t say it anywhere, the Ethics Minister Simon Lokodo has in the past said “If a woman wears a miniskirt, we will arrest her”.  Just like the Anti-Homosexuality Bill passed December 20, 2013, the Anti-Porn Bill will only become law after the president assents to it.

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  1. Several years back I was of the view that the Ministry of Ethics and Integrity was trying to find reasons to justify its existence. I felt it was one of those useless Ministries. My views might have altered a little considering our morals are far from worthwhile and we need some kind of guiding factor to get us back on course. However, every day that passes, I seem to think maybe my assumption was not too wayward after all. I know the Ministry plays a fairly substantial role in attempting to streamline the morals that we have (or at least should be having) but more often than not the Ministry is involved in worthless and almost meaningless discussions. From the time when Nsaba Buturo was up in arms against Big Brother up until now, I can not help but wonder what exactly this Ministry is supposed to achieve. I think someone needs to re-orient the workers of this Ministry so they can get more realistic and stop making a fool of themselves. The intention behind banning mini skirts seems a little noble but the entire idea stinks of impossibility let alone ridiculousness. Waste of time if you ask me.

  2. Nice piece sir. Only in Uganda.

  3. Iduwat Ochom Says:

    This is outrageous. I work occasionally in Kaabong and the district has lots of issues e.g mineral exploration, food security, cattle raids, poor telecom network, etc. Then their son is busy making such noise in Kampala. It’s so so absurd!

  4. chernyn Says:

    Oh well! Thats just dumb! The whole i idea is dumb! No offense. Who even has time and resources to discuss decency and dresscode, thats right. Our parliamentarians whose constituencies have kids who literally can’t spell an english word to save their lives! And they want ipads!

  5. We should ENFORCE A DRESS CODE not ban something. Banning simply means that the teachers and moral authorities HAVE FAILED!
    The largest proponents of mini skirts are the same people who work for industries that impose dress codes that they have never questioned. Like the homosexuality question, government should not legislate lifestyles and life choices. They should look at curbing the excesses that interfere with other’s rights to enjoy theirs.
    Next we should ban ugly faces, short trousers, mismatched clothing and green progreses.

  6. This minister is a pervet! he should keep his eyes above his shoulders


    Infact even me i don’t agree with what fr simon lokodo is suggesting let them first develop kaabong also to the standard which can attract ladies to wear miniskirts like kampala after they now go ahead to make their decisions.

  8. Kenneth Kwesiga Says:

    Ochom, their son is doing his job. There already are ministers in charge of the things you have mentioned.

  9. Iris Kissiti Says:

    Amazing argument….

  10. Ninsiima Joseline Says:

    Let the honourable father preach the miniskirt thing in Church and let the house discuss things that will help this country grow.Forexample teach the girls to earn a living other than thinking of trading their bodies to earn a living.Empower the girls economically and they wont have time to think of walkng naked on the streets of kampala looking for who can give them a 1000 note to servive on.

  11. at times i wish legislators were given exams before they go to parliament. not just the vote, but real exams because i think some of them try so hard to remain relevant in the house. sincerely people like lokodo should know better than to think about miniskirts in today’s Uganda. with all the swindling going on, he should have some integrity himself

  12. musebule Says:

    what is ugandan code of wear if you are good at talking about nigerian bitenge why not ugandan,why not copy nigerian why copy miniskirts fron far i will request all ugandans to be happy as africans.your culture is your identity,any body without a culture is can blem but blem yourselves. on whose standard do we measure ourselves as elite

  13. musebule Says:

    do you know how many young boys are rotting in prison coz of defilement.who tells you that whoever talks about a lady is a no person,society is a combination of girls,boys women and men and i strongly oppose the idear of showing mens pictures in papers and on screen and ladies not yet all have been got in the same act , this is not good who is who in this country.

  14. true there is need to address this vice of miniskirts in our country. thanx

  15. Muhammad Says:

    I am failing to understand these guys,the policy makers,they are running away from real issues that affect the well being of our suffering communities say land conflicts,poverty ,now the droughts,aggravated by indiscriminate tree cutting,corruption,etc etc and decide to waste time on trivial issues? Now minister,will you also ban the tourists and foreigners visiting Uganda whose dress code is similar to the so called minis.Please guys be serious and lets make serious policies and laws for our country. The other day i was in Karamoja and Teso,the roads,the colonial valley tanks have gone to the dogs,people still do open defecation etc why not legislate on such issues instead of mins,dont you now that it is unemployment which is sending some girls to dress like that with intent to attract …

  16. Matthias Bbaale Says:

    I am in full agreement with the minister’s move to save the future generation in Uganda. The primary cause of all past and present Uganda’s problems is mostly attributed to: Moral, Physical, Spiritual, Cultural and economic indiscency! We need such a leader.

  17. let him First dress his whole Lot the Karimajongs, the he can think of that

  18. loy-loi Says:

    unless he wants us to dress up like nuns (no offense) but this should be left to parents that let their girls out of the house half dressed. there are more critical issues that need to be tabled in parliament that such!

  19. I am amused. Can’t help but smile !!

  20. philliph peko Says:

    hi guys,my advise is not perfect but reasonable.first of all in growth,there are stages and in each stage when one skips, its most likely to affect. dear sisters, there is always alimit for everythings and some of you if you start doing something you want to finish it at that very moment without some small break for acheck,please if you fine something is very sweet for you when doing, better leave it because those are harmful to you,check where you belongs. also we as augandan we need to consider our resources when making choice by considering the priorities because the magnitude of corruption case cannot be compared to marriage bill.

  21. When come to clothing citizen should ware acording to there believes i mean if your musilm then as isilam say,if your christian then do as it say.There is very many important subject they should discus on.

  22. Mutaawe Dennis Says:

    fr Simon is very right, i think we need the law and the implimentors as well. this is a questiion of the soul. its actually beyond a cloth! pple should not under look his effort. with appealing morals, we shall have food at the our tables and mats.

  23. How do we decide which skirt counts as a mini – remember what is short on one woman is a very long dress on a midget. Maybe the jail term should take into account length of legs. For goodness sakes, the discussion is far, far, far more than ridiculous – it is also embarassing that we become a mockery. Leaders, please remember you are on a world stage.

  24. Gloria Angela Mukova Says:

    we have a really big problem in Uganda… always dancing in circles. plans are drawn, decisions made, things talked about but we never go any where, not even with the non issues that our leaders some times shout about. Most of these guys need to examine their reasoning, and their priorities. What Uganda needs is a change of the mindset, starting with the so-called planners and implementers. we are tired of this katemba in the country.
    Ministers, Mps and all concerned….. please look closer, there are things eating this country up. address issues first.

  25. your articles are highly appreciated from me and some people i know, good work. lista de email lista de email lista de email lista de email lista de email

  26. Hey admin, extremely informative blog post! Pleasee continue this awesome work..

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