At 9:00am this Wednesday, the people of Kamwokya were stunned when police lorries started pouring heavily-armed anti-riot police in the township.
The residents are used to heavy police deployment whenever presidential hopeful Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine is planning a political activity.
However, today’s show of might by security services left the people of Kamwokya speaking in hushed tones.
“It’s the heaviest deployment we have seen in many years,” said Moses Segawa, a shopkeeper in Kamwokya.
“The gun-toting cops walked in columns straight to NUP offices,” he added.
At around 9:15am, police blocked all roads leading to Bobi’s National Unity Platform (NUP) headquarters.
Some of the cops also stormed a nearby flat belonging to NUP honcho, Chairman Fred Nyanzi Sentamu, Bobi’s elder brother.
Today NUP was celebrating its Youth Day.
Police stormed the place just after Kyagulanyi took over the podium.
It appears, police was working with an insider.
Bobi, who was present as cops searched NUP headquarters, observed: “They are taking documents, branding materials, our CCTV cameras, and other gadgets!”
He added: “The military, Police and other security agencies have laid siege on the National Unity Platform Offices in Kamwokya. Several of our staff have been arrested or injured.”
ChimpReports understands that red berets, umbrellas and other NUP promotional materials were taken by police.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said the security operation was “Targeting all locations illegally manufacturing, supplying, distributing, selling and using uniforms and accoutrements whose ownership and patented designs was gazetted and an exclusive preserve of the armed forces.”
In 2019, Uganda’s armed forces threatened to prosecute people found in possession of military accessories, insignia, decoration and uniform – including the red beret used as a symbol of the opposition movement, People Power.
“The dress code for the UPDF has been gazetted,” said then Defence spokesperson, Brig Richard Karemire.
“The action was endorsed by the top organs of the army which also commended the dress committee for concluding the task assigned to it years back. This development is a milestone in the long history of the UPDF,” he added.
According to the Uganda Gazette of September 18, 2019, “members of the public are hereby informed that unless granted authority by a competent military authority it is prohibited to sell, offer, or expose for sale, wear or use any uniform so nearly resembling the uniform of the defence forces and likely to deceive the public.”
The People Power’s party uniform is a red shirt, black trousers and a red beret.
Bobi Wine rejected the military’s warning and vowed to continue using the Red Beret.
Red flags were first used in the 1848 French Revolution to represent “the blood of angry workers” and it remained the colour for the political left – being taken up by socialist, communist and other left-wing radicals.
Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) used the red beret to represent the blood shed by those who have died during the struggle for economic freedom.