The Uganda Police Force and the UPDF have come out to explain why they conducted a targeted operation at National Unity Platform(NUP) in Kamwokya on Wednesday saying that it was meant to crack down on illegal use of uniform of armed forces by civilians.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga, said security agencies had in the recent past been reached out with concerns about an increase in the number of civilians illegally wearing uniforms that are an exclusive reserve of armed forces of Uganda.”
This he said was being witnessed among political groups, where people donned red berets, matching uniforms, camouflage fatigues and even boots which are similar to armed forces.
“This is where we had to come in because it was more like an assumption of the legitimate law enforcement and military functions which is a violation of the law.” Enanga said
“Such behaviour where you have civilians putting on camouflage fatigue and uniforms similar to those of armed forces has potential of increasing risk of violence when such groups start organising themselves in a manner that get them in conflict with crime.”
He explained that many people from the public would mistake them thinking that they are probably members of armed forces.
“It’s against this background that security also took opportunity to remind the public that the purpose of wearing the military regalia is to make a connection between the lawful personnel and the mandated service that they offer to the public.”
In the operation, several uniforms, and equipment used in their manufacture, he said were seized
Relatedly, UPDF deputy spokesperson Lt. Col Deo Akiki said that as stakeholders, UPDF has on several occasions arrested and will continue to arrest people found in possession of government stores.
ChimpReports understands that similar operations were conducted in downtown Kampala on specific arcades where such uniforms were printed from and some suspects were arrested.