All eyes on Bobi Wine as Uganda bans civilians from wearing red berets

File image of Ugandan legislator Bobi Wine. PHOTO| REUTERS
File image of Ugandan legislator Bobi Wine. PHOTO| REUTERS

Ugandan musician-turned-politician Bobi Wine could find himself in trouble for wearing his signature red beret.

This is after the Ugandan government on Monday declared red berets and tunic as official military uniform, essentially banning civilians from wearing them.

The order was issued in a gazette notice outlining what constitutes military clothing.

“The public is hereby  informed that the marks, accessories, insignia, decorations and uniforms specified in the Schedule of this notice are property of the State or classified stores and anyone found in unlawful possession, selling or dealing in them shall be prosecuted under the Uganda People’s Defence ForcesAct, 2005,” reads part of the notice.

Red, black, maroon, navy-blue and green coloured berets have been designated for the military, according to the gazette notice.

Bobi Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, and his supporters wear the red beret as a “symbol of resistance” to the government of long serving Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

The musician-turned-politician did not immediately comment on the new government order.

However, sections of the media quoted some youth expressing intention to defy the directive banning civilians from donning military fatigue.

“We shall continue to wear the revolutionary red berets,” said youth leader Ivan Boowe as quoted by AFP.

“No amount of intimidation will make us fear to exercise our rights. By designating our dress code as a military wear, the government is moving to attempt to ban the People Power Movement and we are ready to face any action government takes,” he added.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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