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82 Arrested in Police Search for Red Berets, Military Wear

At least 82 suspects are in police custody following joint security operations to recover police and military wear from the National Unity Platform-NUP offices and supporters, police have revealed.

This comes a day after, a joint security team comprising police and the military stormed the NUP head offices and several shops in different parts of Kampala where they recovered NUP branding materials including T-shirts and red berets resembling those used by the military.  

The operations were conducted Kamwokya, Makindye, Kiyembe (Luwum Street), Mulago, Bwaise and Kawempe to halt the production of unauthorized uniforms by illegal manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and sellers.  

Although NUP insists that the operations were aimed at frustrating Kyagulanyi’s presidential bid, security says the offices were targeted as one of the places involved in the supply and distribution of uniforms that were gazetted as a preserve of the armed forces.   

The Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, Patrick Onyango, says following a screen exercise they have remained with 82 suspects locked up in police cells under different police divisions.

On Wednesday, police spokesperson Fred Enanga, said that it is illegal for civilians to wear berets, matching outfits, insignia, camouflage fatigues and boots similar to those of armed forces.

“Wearing uniforms that are a preserve of the armed forces is illegal behavioural which was escalating especially among some political groups and celebrities. It is a usurpation of the legitimate law enforcement and military functions which is a violation of the law,” Enanga said.

He also encouraged all in possession of such items to voluntarily return them to military bases and police stations before they are picked up. 

The UPDF Deputy Spokesperson, Lt Col Deo Akiiki dismisses claims that the operations are targeting NUP.

“We’re not segregating whether a beret is of any party colour others have gone as far as putting on a rank of a Major General some of us have not even dreamed of putting them on yet we’re in the line. But you blatantly put on and disrespect that insignia with its weight,” said Akiiki.

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