Commercial sex workers plying their trade in Lyantonde town council have objected to the new set of rules banning their operations on the streets. On Friday last week, the district authorities including the District Chairperson, Resident District Commissioner, police and the district councilors set out tough measures aimed at forcing off the street prostitutes.
On Friday last week, the district authorities including the District Chairperson, Resident District Commissioner, police and the district councilors set out tough measures aimed at forcing the prostitutes off the street.
The new directives follow constant complaints from the public that the prostitutes reportedly connive with criminals to assault, rob and kill their purported clients.
However, the orders sparked off bitter reactions from the prostitutes who remained adamant saying they will continue operating because the expulsion happened without any notice.
Through their leaders Patience Kashemire and Judith Kemirembe, more than 30 prostitutes convened a meeting on Wednesday at Jumbo lodge in Lyantonde town to find ways to remain on the streets.
They invited RDC Sulaiman Tiguragara Matojo to the meeting which he attended in person.
The unhappy sex workers demanded for more time at least up to the end of 2015 to enable them make enough money to start other businesses to look after their families.
Kashemire says that the district leaders passed a resolution without notifying them first.
Kashemire says the women resorted to prostitution because they could not get other productive means of employment. Many are widows and sole family bread winners.
Kemirembe says the female prostitutes did not benefit from government initiatives like the youth livelihood programme which could have helped them leave the trade.
She finds it unfair then that they are being told to find other means of employment without government assistance.
Kemirembe also rubbished the district leaders claims that the prostitues are not welcome in Lyantonde.
Wilson Wamala, a pro-commercial sex workers' activist and a prominent businessman, says prostitutes should not be forced off the street because they contribute to Lyantonde's revenue collection.
Wamala says the women are parents like other citizens who educate their children and contribute to society.
However, Eria Sewandigi, the Chairperson for Lyantonde town council, argues that they only degrade the society's morals.
He says they dress indecently, use vulgar language copied by impressionable young people. He claims many are not locals but come from Mbarara, Kyazanga, Mbiriizi, Kinoni while other are foreigners from Burundi and Rwanda.
However, Matojo said that commercial sex is illegal according to Uganda's constitution and cannot be tolerated in Lyantonde.
He, however, says he will further consult with other district leaders on how to handle the matter.
He revealed that they are planning to relocate the long distance truck drivers from the town centre because they are the prostitutes' largest clientele.
Lyantonde DPC Thomas Keith Eyaku, says they will conduct sting operations to crack down on the prostitutes and force them to pay heavy fines.
He adds that about 9 crimes involving commercial sex workers have been recorded since 2014. The cases include assault, theft, and murder, among others.
On Wednesday at around 8pm, some prostitutes were seen hanging around the streets and some dark corners.