Public servants in Uganda face a strict dress code after the government issued a circular warning them to "dress decently".
Female staff have been told not to show any cleavage, wear brightly coloured braids or hair extensions, sleeveless blouses or any clothing made out of see-through material. Men must wear long-sleeved shirts, jackets and ties, and loose trousers.
Staff failing to comply will be disciplined. The guidelines, issued by the Ministry of Public Service apply to all non-uniformed civil servants.
The circular is derived from Public Service Standing Orders on dress code, put in place in 2010.
According to Public Service permanent secretary Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire public servants have disregarded Section F-j of the Uganda Public Service Standing Orders, 2010 by continually dressing in a manner that does not portray a good image of the service.
While women will be allowed to wear pant-suits, they have been warned not to wear any tight-fitting clothing. Dresses and skirts must at least be knee-length.
The circular further states that accessories should be modest, and women should not have bright hair colour, braids or extensions.
Flat, open shoes are also ruled out, except in cases where one can prove that it is for medical reasons.
Men have been told they should keep their hair short and neat, and not wear brightly coloured clothes.
A spokesperson for the ministry says that staff who fail to comply with the newly enforced rules will be cautioned at first, and repeat offenders will face disciplinary action.
Dress code for female officers
1) Dress in a skirt or dress that’s not above the knees with a smart long or short sleeved blouse. Officers should avoid wearing sleeveless, transparent blouses and dresses at the workplace.
2) To ensure that the clothing covers up cleavage, navel, knees and back.
3) Not to be allowed to appear for duty in open flat shoes, “except on Doctors recommendation/medical ground”
4) Not allowed to have bright coloured hair in form of natural hair, braids and hair extensions.
5) To keep hair neat and presentable.
6) May wear trousers during office hours in form of smart lady suits with jackets long enough to cover the bosom.
7) To wear modest accessories for example diamond studs and pins. Chandelier earrings should not not be worn.
8) To desist from wearing tight fitting dresses and skirt.
9) Maintain well-groomed, neutral polished nails. Long nails with more than three 3cms, with bright nail polish or with multi-coloured nail polish are not allowed in public offices.
10) Shall keep the facial make up simple and not exaggerated.
Dress code for male officers:
1) Male officers are required to dress in neat trousers, long-sleeved shirts, jacket and a tie.
2) Officers shall not be allowed to put on open shoes during working hours “except on health ground/recommendation”
3) Officers should dress in dark colours like dark green or brown, navy blue, grey and black suits.
4) Hair should be well-groomed and generally kept short.
5) Tight fitting trousers will not be permitted.
6) Only black and brown shoes should be worn to the office premises.