National Unity Platform (NUP) leader Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine, has ordered his supporters to wear the red beret, resurrecting 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,” Bobi Wine told reporters at the party headquarters in Kamwokya on Wednesday.
In 2018, Bobi Wine ring-fenced the red beret as one of the symbols for his then political pressure group, People Power. The dress code gained popularity, especially among the youth who professed support for the musician-turned-politician.
In September last year, the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) moved to gazette the Red Beret as one part of the military stores, saying it was a way to define the identity and outlook of a professional army as well as adhering to the East African Community (EAC) protocols.
In October last year, police and army raided the NUP offices in Kamwokya and confiscated various items including the red berets, saying they were being used unlawfully.
The former Kyadondo East legislator says more than 100 supporters of NUP are in jail on charges of wearing the red beret.
At the press conference, all the leaders of NUP who emerged from their offices to the tent for the media address were wearing red berets.
Asked why they had resurrected the attire, Bobi Wine said the army had gazetted the dress code but had not worn it a year later and the party was now reclaiming it.