Kyadondo East Member of Parliament, Robert Kyagulanyi has scoffed at the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces for gazetting the red berets saying the People Power spirit is far bigger than a red beret.
Bobi Wine together with the spokesperson of People Power, Joel Ssenyonyi said that red beret is just a political symbol and banning it cannot at any time change their intentions as the movement.
On Monday, the UPDF officially designated the red beret as an item of official military clothing and banned civilians from wearing them.
“The dress code for the UPDF has been gazetted. The action was endorsed by the top organs of the army which also commended the dress committee for concluding the task assigned to it years back,” army spokesperson Richard Karemire said.
Brig. Karemire added that “It manifests the commitment to define identity and outlook of a professional army as well as adhering to the EAC (East African Community) protocols.”
However, in a press conference, on Tuesday, Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine said government is using all means to fail the People Power movement.
“We put on this beret as a symbol of the fight against oppression, bad leadership, dictatorship and a symbol that is yearning for change. But People Power is more than a red beret. We are bigger than our symbol. We are a booming political movement fighting for the future of Uganda and we will continue our struggle for democracy and prosperity for all Ugandans,” he said.
Ssenyonyi said they are not afraid of any move by the UPDF to monopolise the red beret because there is a big deference between UPDF’s red beret and that of People Power..
“As far as we are concerned, this is just Gen Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who is in panic mode. I keep wondering why that guy keeps calling himself a General because he is such a coward and very fearful of People Power. The insignia on the People Power beret is different from that of UPDF,” said Ssenyonyi.
Bugiri municipality lawmaker Asuman Basalirwa also said that the Constitution does not give any power to any minister to ban colours.
“Article 160 says the minister will declare a mark or marks which if applied to a vessel, piece of clothing becomes the exclusive property of the state but has no powers to ban colour. In Parliament we are yet to ask the Minister to explain exactly what was abolished,” said Basalirwa.
Patrick Nsamba from Kasanda North called upon People Power supporters to continue wearing their red beret since there is no any law they are breaking.
“The Constitution only prohibits civilians from using logos or marks of UPDF. On our beret, we do not have an army logo which makes them different from army’s,” he said.
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