KAMPALA – A lawyer has dragged government to court for banning the wearing of red berets by People Power political pressure group.
Ivan Bwowe who is also a youth leader and a human rights activist in his petition filed on October 3 before the High Court in Kampala says that the Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs, published in the Uganda Gazette on September 18, 2019, lots of items including uniforms, clothing, boots headgears and many other items that are supposed to be a preserve of the army officers.
Mr Bwowe says that the notice has grave consequences as it aims to criminalize the wearing of red berets by citizens, black boots illegally included in the notice published in the gazette extraordinary Volume CX.No.46 as per the section 160 and 164 of the UPDF Act
He is now seeking for a declaration that the said gazette is illegal and amounts to abuse of the law and a permanent injunction restraining the government and state institutions from arresting or prosecuting any citizen relying on the contentious gazette.
Mr Bwowe explains that he brought this lawsuit against the government to protect the citizens from abuse of the law by the State institutions and security forces.
Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) on October 2 designated the red beret and tunic as official military clothing that could land civilians who wear them in jail, essentially banning the uniform of opposition leader Bobi Wine and his supporters.
“The dress code for the UPDF has been gazetted. The action was endorsed by the top organs of the army which also commended the dress committee for concluding the task assigned to it years back,” army spokesman Richard Karemire said in a statement.