Ugandan Ethics and Integrity Minister Fr. Simon Lokodo is seeking to ban miniskirts with a bill that would label thigh-barring skirts as pornography and render them illegal.
As the bill currently reads, those found guilty would pay a fine or face seven to 15 years in jail. Former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin also banned miniskirts under his rule, notes The Guardian.
“Exposing certain parts of the anatomy of a person, I call it, I call it pornographic and, therefore, condemned,” Lokodo told Kenyan television station NTV. He went on to suggest that a ban on miniskirts would not be a human rights violation because the garment interferes with “the freedom of others.”
Lokodo, a former Catholic priest, says that he already has wide support — up to 90 per cent of parliament — but other MPs did not agree.
“I think people have got better things to do and bigger issues to deal with,” MP Kenneth Omona told NTV.
The proposed bill would also ban some films and TV programs, and would allow for closer monitoring of Internet use. Omona said that certain stars — including Beyoncé and Madonna — would be banned from television.
This isn’t the first time Lokodo has made headlines for controversial social policies. In 2012, he submitted a proposal to ban 38 non-governmental organizations that he accused of promoting homosexuality. He has also led raids on gay rights meetings, saying that a workshop on the topic was “illegal” and that organizers would be arrested if they continued their activities.
Uganda also made headlines for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which was introduced in 2009 and included the death penalty for some homosexual acts. Amid international outcry, the bill was dropped, but was reintroduced in 2011. A version of the bill remains before Ugandan Parliament, but has not yet been passed.