Mbale town police detain 20 women suspected of engaging in illicit commercial sex.
The suspects who are being held at the Mbale central police station were arrested Monday evening in one of the lodges on the terrace of Nkokonjeru, in the town of Mbale, as part of a clampdown operation.
The arrest came after some of the sex workers allegedly stole a man’s phone and money around 8 p.m.
Mr. Ararat Kato, the head of the Mbale central police station who ordered the operation, confirmed the arrest.
He said many sex workers engaged in theft and theft.
“We have received complaints about these sex workers that they are stealing from people. We have decided to arrest them so that they can face the law,” Kato said.
Mr Kato said sex workers colluded with thugs to terrorize people at night.
The arrests of sex workers come just days after Parliament passed a law that criminalizes prostitution (both selling and buying sex are criminalized).
The Sexual Offenses Sanctions Law was enacted by parliament last week and is now awaiting approval from President Museveni.
A detective from the Mbale central police station said Daily monitor that many men were involved in the illegal sex trade.
However, one of the prostitutes told police that many women resorted to prostitution to make ends meet after being neglected by their husbands and parents.
“We have used this work as the only survival mechanism to feed our children. We ask the police to help us,” she pleaded with the police.
Instead, police have repeatedly warned that they will rid the town of Mbale of sex workers.
Police also claim to have information that several married men have abandoned their wives and children and now spend their lives with prostitutes.