Uganda’s National Unity Platform (NUP) leader Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, has directed his supporters to wear the red beret, resurrecting the battle between the army and his camp on the dress code about 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 on Wednesday.
Bobi Wine , in 2018, ring-fenced the red beret as one of the symbols for his then political pressure group, People Power.
Over time, the dress code gained popularity, particularly among the youth who declared support for the politician that doubles as a musician.
In September 2021, the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) moved to gazette the Red Beret as part of the military stores, saying it was a means to define the identity and outlook of a professional army as well as sticking to the East African Community (EAC) protocols.
A month later, security forces raided the NUP offices in Kamwokya and seized various items among them the red berets, saying they were being used unlawfully.
The ex- Kyadondo East says over 100 supporters of NUP are currently behind bars on charges of wearing the red beret.
While addressing the press conference, all the NUP leaders who emerged from their offices to the tent for the media address were adorning red berets.
Questioned on why they had revived 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.