KAMPALA – Military Police on Saturday failed to arrest the People Power movement spokesperson, Joel Ssenyonyi during the Makerere University Law Society Sports Gala for wearing the red beret.
Mr Ssenyonyi turned up for the sports event with his red beret, which the army last month gazetted as Force’s wear.
However, a group of soldiers belonging to military police attempted to invade Makerere University sports ground to arrest the People Power spokesperson.
But the students protested the attempted arrest and surrounded Mr Ssenyonyi, prompting the army to back off.
Mr Ssenyonyi on Saturday evening confirmed his attempted arrest and vowed to continue defying the army on the red beret ban.
Through gazette notice volume CXII Number 46 published on September 18, the army banned the wearing, making and selling of red berets.
“Members of the Public are hereby informed that unless granted authority by a competent military authority, it is prohibited to sell, offer or expose for sale or use any uniform of the defence forces; manufacture, sell, offer or expose for sale, wear or use any uniform so nearly resembling the uniform of the Uganda Peopels Defense Forces and like to deceive the public” the Gazatte reads in part.
Wearing red insignia has constantly grown among the Opposition politicians and activists since September 2017 when they opposed the tabling of the Constitutional Amendment Bill that saw Parliament remove Article 102B.
People Power movement has vowed to continue wearing the red beret and described the move by the army to gazette it as a sign that the ruling government is scared of the influence of the pressure group led by Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.
“As far as we are concerned, this is just Gen Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who is in panic mode. I keep wondering why that guy keeps calling himself a General because he is such a coward and very fearful of people power,” Mr Ssenyonyi said.
“All these are really initiatives to try and cut down our speed but we keep moving. It is very clear that there is a UPDF fatigue-the red- and has its badge. The People Power beret has its badge too and you cannot say there is confusion between the two,” he added.
Mr Ssenyonyi said they are ready to defy the ban even if it means going to jail.