In the matter of red: UPDF dragged to court over red beret ban- a People Power symbol

The Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) ban on civilians wearing red berets, a symbol for the opposition group ‘People Power’ has seen a concerned lawyer Mr Ivan Bwowe petition High Court over the matter.

On September 18, 2019, the minister of defense and veteran affairs caused the publishing in the Uganda Gazette a list of items including uniforms, clothing, boots, head gears and others as a preserve of the army.

It is on these grounds that counsel Ivan Bwowe seeks to challenge the ban on particular items that are outside the arm bits of Section 160 of the UPDF Act, hence illegal to be banned from civilian use.

“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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