The Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) has said it’s ready to crush any civilian who will be netted wearing the red beret.
Last month, the UPDF through its spokesman Brig. Richard Karemire announced that red berets are a major military attire and it that it was illegal for any civilian to wear it.
“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. It manifests the commitment to define identity and outlook of a professional army as well as adhering to the EAC (East African Community) protocols,” said Karemire.
However, last week, Kyadondo East Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine said the 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 then.
But on Friday during the launch of a report on the state of human rights in Uganda, the army through its Chief Political Commissar, Brigadier Henry Matsiko vowed deal with any civilians that insist on wearing the red beret.
“We hope that people who have insisted on putting on the military attires are not even moving towards the temptations to do the activities in a military way to fight us. Should they do that it’s up to them, they will have to account for what they have chosen,” said Brig. Matsiko.
He added “They must be careful on what they are insinuating. We have seen many people using such sentiments to inciting violence like Lakwena used religion so why should these people stick on wearing a gazetted military cap?”.
However, People spokesman Joel Ssenyonyi responded with nothing will stop them from wearing their red beret because they are not breaking any laws.
“We shall keep wearing them wherever we want too. We are just waiting for anyone to be charged with wearing the red beret. We are anxiously waiting for them to arrest us and they tell us the offence. They arrested youth last time but they charged them other things because they know there is nothing illegal wrong with our red beret,” said Ssenyonyi.
He added that UPDF has got their specific red berets which are different from that of People Power which they must concentrate on.
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