Uganda: Ban On Red Berets Challenged in Court

A concerned lawyer has petitioned the High Court in Kampala challenging the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) ban on wearing of red berets by People Power supporters.

Mr Ivan Bwowe, in his law suit, contends 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.

He states that some of the items that the minister included in the Gazette are outside the arm-bits of Section 160 of the UPDF Act, hence illegal. He contends that the UPDF’s main aim is to criminalise the wearing of red berets by citizens.

“The act of the minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs to gazette clothing, head gears, boots and other items other than the mark or marks is illegal, ultra vires and an abuse of the law and outside the minister’s legal mandate,” Mr Bwowe contends.

“The notice has grave consequences as it aims to criminalise the wearing of the red berets by citizens, black boots and other items illegally included in the notice published in the gazette Vol. CXII No. 46 as per Section 160 and 164 of the UPDF Act,” he adds.

Mr Bwowe explains that he brought this law suit against government to protect the citizens from abuse of the law by the state institutions and security forces.

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