Bobi Wine. People Power’s red beret and colors terrifies the Ugandan dictator Gen. Museveni. Photo: Facebook.
The Ugandan police in a joint operation with the army today raided Bobi Wine’s new National Unity Platform (NUP) party’s offices in Kampala and arrested scores of activists who tried to block them from entering the premises.
The police and soldiers made off with 23 million shillings ($6,200), money that had been donated by supporters for the nomination fees of party candidates. They also made off with berets, t-shirts and other campaign materials. “The military, police and other security agencies have laid siege on the National Unity Platform offices in Kamwokya. Several of our staff and leaders have been arrested. They are breaking into the different offices, taking all the documents and other valuables,” Robert Kyagulanyi, a.k.a. Bobi Wine, said in a statement on his social media platforms.
“Our team has just finished assessing what has been stolen in broad daylight. I have been informed that most of our forms with signatures for nominations have been taken away! They have also taken UGX23M part of which was meant to facilitate our member of parliament candidates with nomination fees.”
Retired general, Mugisha Muntu, leader of another Ugandan opposition party Alliance for National Transformation, condemned the raid, saying in a statement: “The high-handedness with which the security agencies handled the situation is an unfortunate continuation of the government’s injustices against members of the opposition.” The statement also urged, “We continue to appeal to all security personnel of good conscience to remember that their duty to serve and protect is to the people of Uganda, regardless of who is in office. A time is fast approaching when those you will report to are those you were formerly ordered to antagonize. And while Ugandans have a huge capacity for reconciliation, it is not without limit. Our country’s stability depends in part, on your willingness to do the right thing.”
The army spokesperson Brigadier General Flavia Byekwaso confirmed the raid and said the NUP party officials and activists have continued to illegally use military and police patented designs. “A joint operation is ongoing to recover military and police stores from the public. Whoever is in possession of such items is encouraged to voluntarily return them,” she said.
The contested items are red berets with the words National Unity Platform and or People Power Uganda embroidered on them, which are worn by National Unity Platform activists and officials. The Uganda Police and Military, who report to Uganda’s dictator of 34 years Gen. Museveni, claim that these berets are patented for only military police and no other civilian is allowed to own any. The red beret and t-shirt has become the rallying symbol of the popular People Power Movement which seeks to rally the opposition to defeat Gen. Museveni in next year’s election.