Bobi Wine has ordered his supporters to start wearing the red beret daring the army and police resurrecting confrontations.
The National Unity Platform (NUP) leader Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine’s order to his supporters will resurrect the battle between the army and his camp on the dress code nearly a year later.
“As the leaders of NUP, we shall resume the wearing of the red beret after all we break no law. If the army thinks that it is part of their stores, let them wear this particular red beret and our supporters should wear it,” Bobi Wine said while addressing the media at their party headquarters.
Bobi Wine earmarked the red beret as a symbol for his then-political pressure group, People Power, in 2018. The dress code gained a lot of traction among the young people who backed the musician-turned-politician.
The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) decided to include the Red Beret in their military inventory, claiming that it is a method to define the identity and vision of a professional army while still following EAC (East African Community) norms.
The police and soldiers stormed the NUP headquarters in Kamwokya and seized several items, including red berets, claiming they were being used illegally.
According to Bobi Wine, around 100 NUP supporters have been arrested for wearing the red beret.
At the press conference yesterday, all of the NUP’s leaders wore red berets as they walked from their offices to the tent for the media speech.
When asked why the army had resurrected the uniform, Bobi Wine explained that the dress code had been gazetted but had not been worn for a year, and that they were now reclaiming it.
“We dare them to wear the beret if at all it is part of their stores. Why is the law being applied selectively, last week we saw Andrew Mwenda wearing a full UPDF combat and Gen Museveni’s son came out to say it is okay,” Bobi Wine said.
“Let them come and arrest me because I am wearing the red beret which I actually know doesn’t belong to the army but because they are fearing the impact it has made in mobilizing they are intimidating all of us,” he added.
In reaction to Bobi Wine’s and his leadership’s actions, acting UPDF spokesperson Lt Col Ronald Kakurungu remarked, “We shall return to the law and see how we treat them.” They have no idea what they’re talking about, and if they’re talking about Mwenda’s case, how did he get his army uniform? “We’ll deal with them,” Lt Col Kakurungu stated.