Opinion: Gazetted injustice with the ban of red berets!
On the gazetted Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) dress code of 18th September 2019, the red berets, which has been associated with the People Power Movement and Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine. It is now banned from wearing them, except if your part of the UPDF. The same with the rest of the attires, which is gazetted.
This is limiting clothing, but also banning a sort of cloth, a headwear, which has been directly the image of the opposition movement. The UPDF again being used politically to ban. Not only is the army used to intimidate and to control the public. They are not only defending the territory of the Republic, but also used as a tool of oppression. That is why, special units of the UPDF have been used to arrest and detain civilian leaders, like even taking the Arua 26 and the Kizza Besigye to Military Court.
Therefore, this is not shocking. This is following a pattern, like when the Interim Order of 5th May 2016 banned all demonstrations and the defiance campaign. In addition, this means that the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) was officially by the state not allowed to demonstrate nor use defiance. That is why we have been here before.
The UPDF is used as a tool this time. To stop people from wearing a certain head-gear. They want to monopolize this headwear. Apparently, they can do that, even after the state known the public and the opposition has used this. This is a direct ban of wearing something of the opposition.
If the National Resistance Movement (NRM), the ones running the government wants a multi-party democracy or act like its there. Maybe not ban their gear in general. Because, it proves again, that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his minions in acts won’t a one-party state. That is why he was so reluctant to let go of the movement system in the past. This is a history we cannot forget.
In this instance, it is repetition of the past. The NRM and Museveni uses the state as a oppressive machine. Finds some significant faults with the opposition bans it. That is not new.
This is the red berets, which is now a cardinal sin, unless your part of the UPDF. Together with the other hand-picked attire, which they see fit. We can await the radios to ban Bobi Wine songs, we can await to see more of these issues. Just like the bans of concerts of Bobi Wine too. Therefore, this is following a common pattern.
This is not happening to the DP Block or the UPC for that matter. No, its happens to the Opposition that the President fears. That is why he can use the military, which the militarised politics of the NRM has personalized over the years.
This will be controversial, there will be arrests, the police force will enforce this and we will see an outcry. However, will this show the public how far the NRM does to control them? Is this enough or will laws of draconian acts continue without any actions against it. Will the public accept this and move-on, as the state again tell them how to think, act and how to be?
This is what the NRM does, just another proof. Peace.