Opinion: Wearing a Red Beret is now a cardinal sin

Last year in September the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) gazetted their dress codes, which included the red berets. The Red Beret, which is iconic and is the symbol of the People Power Movement, People Power Alliance and the National Unity Platform. This is why, even on his own campaign poster. Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine isn’t allowed to wear it.

There are activists and aspirants who has been arrested for wearing it. The NUP Aspirants has been picked up the moment after the nominations. They can even just try access the general public, but by doing so. They will be arrested and later released on bail.

That is what is happening to the NUP and Bobi Wine. The state have even used massive funds to take down and move posters of Bobi Wine. While having police officers looking at the National Resistance Movement putting up posters of the President.

We know it is a cardinal sin, when the President can wear his infamous hat on the post. While Bobi Wine couldn’t wear his beret. You see the double standard, because I do. However, that is not new.

The NRM could hold primaries, let the voters stand in line and even hold sort of rallies ahead of it. They could even follow and cheer as their candidates was elected. While the opposition and NUP couldn’t even congregrate and nearly have functions for their delegates. Still, the NRM apologists says its all headquarters decisions, but the opposition struggles to do basics. When the laws are differently for them compared to the ruling regime.

The same is with the headgear. The NRM can wear yellow military fatigue, heck they can wear actual military fatigue. They can have yellow berets and be all in military fashion. While the problem all along is that Bobi Wine is wearing it and symbolizing it.

The red beret is a sign of oppression and the state is amplifying it too. They are now making it illegal for anyone wearing it on-air. They will use the gazette from last year as the legal basis. However, why are they doing this?

This is showing how the revolutionary and liberation heroes becomes the next tormentor. The supposed liberator becomes a tyrant. When you are micro-managing like this and arresting people for wearing something. It isn’t new… before the 2016 elections, there was an instance of some who made T-Shirts with Besigye. These was arrested and they confiscated the T-Shirts too. That is who the authorities work against them. However, it is all cool to have Jajja, Bosco or Mr. Sunday on a yellow T-shirt.

Now, in 2020 and in 2021, everything associated with Bobi Wine will be illegal. That is why NUP candidates are blocked from radio stations and it’s supposed to be “scientific” campaigns. Clearly, there are no fair way of doing this and everything can be deemed a crime.

The Red Beret is a Cardinal Sin now. Saint Gregory the Great must be so proud. That a head gear is at the same point as lust, envy, pride, anger and sloth…

The Red Beret is now the proof of how the state oppress its citizens. It will be more and sooner or later… it should be enough of this. This is not securing the future or steady progress. This is “No Change”, which is the most fitting slogan that Museveni ever gave himself. Peace.

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