Security agencies have promised to continue with operations politicians illegally using patented military and police designs and other government stores.
A combined force of the military and police on Wednesday morning raided the National Unity Platform (NUP) offices in Kamwokya near Kampala as well as several shops in downtown Kampala in an operation that the police said targeted locations that are illegally manufacturing, supplying, distributing, selling and using uniforms and accouterments whose ownership and patented designs was gazetted as an exclusive preserve of the armed forces.
“Due to continued illegal use of military and police stores and other military/police patented designs, a joint operation is ongoing to recover the same from the public. All in possession of such items are encouraged to voluntarily return them,” army spokesperson, Brig. Flavia Byekwaso said.
The operation comes almost a year and one month after the Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs, Adolf Mwesige published a notice in the Uganda Gazette warning against the use of the red beret, a popular political symbol for presidential aspirant Robert Kyagulanyi’s NUP and People Power pressure group.
Recently, some of his supporters designed red outfits similar to uniforms of the armed forces. Some added ‘pips’ to their outfits.
According to Mwesige’s notice in the Uganda Gazette of September 18, 2019, the use of army uniform which includes the red beret is restricted to only military police under Section 160 of the UPDF Act 2005.
The notice further warned the public to desist from using marks, accessories, insignia, decoration and uniforms that he went further to specify in the notice because they are property of the state or classified stores.
According to the notice, anyone found in unlawful possession, selling or dealing in them shall be prosecuted under the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) Act of 2005.
This therefore could mean that all those who were arrested during the Wednesday operation will be arraigned before the military court-martial.