KAMPALA. A judicial officer has been suspended from work for allegedly wearing a short dress.

Ms Rosemary Namuwanga who works as a court clerk/ interpreter at Kasangati Magistrate’s Court in Wakiso District was on Thursday suspended by the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Public Service, Ms Josephine Muwonge on grounds of indecent dressing.
Ms Muwonge faulted Ms Namuwanga for defying public service standing orders by dressing in a manner that does not portray a good image of the judiciary and public service image.

According to a letter dated September 21, 2017 that was handed to Ms Namuwanga, it stated that she was dressed in a very short and tight dress which by description did not fall within the generally acceptable standards of the established Notice NO.1 of 2017.
“This is to inform you that, today September 21, while you were invited to the office of the Permanent Secretary to the judiciary for an explanation regarding non-payment of your salary and allowances for the month July 2017, you turned up dressed in a manner that does not portray a good image of the Judiciary and Public Service at large,” reads part of the letter.

The letter further stated that…“In accordance with the established notice NO.1 of 2017, this is to suspend you from duty for a period of two weeks with effect from September 21 to October 4, 2017.”
Ms Namuwanga becomes the seventh civil servant to be affected by the Ministry of Public Service guidelines that were issued early this year banning sleeveless, transparent and tight clothing for non-uniformed officers in Public Service.

The Uganda Public Service Standing Orders, 2010, stipulates that officers shall be required to dress decently and in the generally acceptable standards in the Uganda Community.
The orders, however, do not highlight what would constitute decent, smart and reasonable dressing.

In line with the guidelines, all female members of the public service are required to dress in a skirt or dress that is not above the knees, with a smart, long or short sleeved blouse.
All clothing is expected to cover the cleavage, navel and the back while sleeveless and transparent blouses and dresses were banned.
Also banned are tight fitting dresses and skirts, flat shoes and coloured hair presented in form of natural, braids and hair extensions.

jkigongo@ug.nationmedia.com