The Ugandan army has reiterated a warning to members of the public over what it called misuse of military attire by non-members of security forces, saying the practice will attract serious consequences.
According to a statement issued on Friday by Defense spokesperson Brig. Gen. Felix Kulayigye, the army warning was prompted by a trend of increasing numbers of civilians in military insignia such as berets, lanyards and clothing which is a preserve of security forces.
However, this warning comes at a time when leaders of the opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) -a party which has often clashed with security over usage of Red berets, are traversing the country on mobilization tours. In all recent events, most of the NUP leaders and supporters have been donning the red berets similar to those of the military.
Without mentioning a specific group, Kulayigye noted that increase misuse of military attire is “a concern to the Ministry of Defense and veteran affairs.”
In the statement, Kulayigye cited the law specifically Section 160(c) of the Uganda People’s Defense Act, 2005 which prohibits non-members of security forces from receiving, processing, selling or delivering all attire designated as belonging to the military.
He also cited the general notice 1013 of 2019 issued in the gazette describing and prohibiting members of the public from donning military wears and decorations (including the red beret), or so resembling them.
After holding fairly peaceful rallies in Mbarara, Fort portal, Kasese and Kabale -all in South Western Uganda, NUP leaders now target Eastern and Northern regions starting with Mayuge on Monday September 4, 2023.
“We wish to again warn those individuals donning those items mentioned above.. failure to comply with this warning will invite legal action to concerned individuals” Brig. Gen. Kulayigye stated.