Police have said they will compensate anyone, especially the ghetto youth, who hands over military paraphernalia, such as berets, in their possession to security authorities within 14 days.
Those who return the paraphernalia within 14 days will get Shs10,000 for each piece of clothing.
Addressing the media in Kampala yesterday, the commander of the Kampala Metropolitan Police, Mr. Stephen Tanui, said when the 14 days end, the police will commence an operation targeting whoever found in possession of military paraphernalia.
“These days, criminals use clothing similar to our uniforms and they commit crimes. These clothes that resemble police and army uniform are common everywhere. They are even sold in local shops and markets,” Mr. Tanui said.
Mr. Tanui was meeting members of the Ghetto Youth Coordinators
Mr. Branson Kawesi, the speaker of Ghetto Youth Coordinators, said they are willing to work with the security authorities as long as they protected.
“Some of the police officers have been hiring out the police uniform to our colleagues to go and execute some missions and later bring money so such police officers may turn against us,” he said.
The National Unity Platform (NUP) party used the red beret as its uniform until it was classified as military paraphernalia, making it illegal for unauthorized persons to wear it in 2019.
Possession of military paraphernalia without authority is a criminal offense under the UPDF Act and anyone found guilty faces a 10-year jail team.
Several NUP supporters were arrested and prosecuted for wearing red berets.
In 2020, Mr. Ivan Bwowe, a lawyer, sued the government for gazetting the red berets as military attires.
The application filed before the Civil Division of the High Court in Kampala sought a declaration that the said gazette is illegal and amounts to an abuse of the law.
The development comes against the backdrop of increased attacks on security personnel, especially police officers, by unknown assailants who also steal guns.
On Wednesday, the NUP president, Mr. Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, said security forces have started implicating them in the attacks on security personnel.
“Don’t be shocked when they come and arrest me or Rubongoya and say we are connected to Joseph Kony or Allied Democratic Forces.”
He added that security officials claim that they shot one of the attackers recently, who turned out to be a NUP supporter.
“These are false flagged operations trying to implicate us who are in Opposition,” he said.
The NUP secretary general, Mr. David Lewis Rubongoya, said: “Our berets are not military, ours have symbols of People Power. We even challenged the UPDF in the High Court but the case has not been fixed for hearing.