In 2013 at least 400 prostitutes were arrested and detained by Police in Bugiri district. The sex workers seem to have changed tactics in 2014. The sex workers in Bugiri now rent houses to use as lodges for their clients.
The sex workers in Bugiri now rent houses to use as lodges for their clients.
Before police cracked down on the illegal trade, prostitutes would spend most of their time in bars and restaurants before hitting the streets at night. They would position themselves at the darker corners of the roads and call out to their clients.
Richard Musisi, Bugiri District police commander, attributed a spike in crime to the influx of sex workers from different parts of the country.
Musisi explained that prostitutes tend to be friendly with criminals who they sometimes harbour, hence the crackdown.
However, prostitutes have now moved away from the streets and rent their own rooms to conduct their business. They stock these rooms with drinks and eats to entertain their visiting clients.
Agnes Nalwoga came to Bugiri in 2012 after working as a prostitute in Entebbe, Wakiso district for several years. She says after the trade became more competitive, she decided to look for a better place outside Kampala and that’s how she ended up in Bugiri town council.
Nalwoga now makes more than 100,000 shillings a day from the sale of drinks and sex in her single room located in Bugiri town council. She says it is safe and police cannot arrest her because she explains away their questions by referring to her male clients as her husbands.
She decided to turn to renting a room and using it as a brothel because police had arrested her several times and extorted money and sex from her before releasing her.
Zaina Nabulime who also resides in Bugiri town council says most of them rent the houses in pairs so that while another is waiting with client at a bar or restaurant in town the other is using the room.
The DPC Musisi says all local councils must work with police to identify all people renting houses and using them as brothels.
Musisi says the neighbourhoods most frequented by sex workers are Bugiri town council, Idudi, Naluwerere and Busowa trading centres.
Musisi says that police estimates that 500 prostitutes work in Bugiri. However, the number seems to rise at night.