Uganda’s controversial musician turn politician, Bobi wine has reacted angrily to a government ban on his trademark red beret by the government on his followers in Uganda, the red beret is the symbol for Lawmaker and Presidential hopeful’s “people powers movement”.
The red beret and other military wears were banned by the state early this month part, declaring them as “property of the state.” the statement warned that anyone found selling them or wearing them would be persecuted and possibly sentenced to life imprisonment.
In his reaction, Bobi wine described the ban as a sham and an effort to stifle his movement, “This beret ban is a sham. It is a blatant attempt to suffocate a successful threat to the autocratic status quo”.
The 37-year-old went on to defiantly state that, the red beret is only one piece of the larger puzzle,
“But People Power is more than a red beret, we are bigger than our symbol. We are a booming political movement fighting for the future of Uganda and we will continue our struggle for democracy”.
Since he became a legislator in 2017, Bobi Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, has rattled Ugandan authorities who see him as a formidable threat to end Museveni’s more than three decades in power.
Wine has garnered a large support base especially among young Ugandans who have been captivated by his bold criticism of Museveni, sometimes delivered in his lyrics.
Last year l, Wine suffered serious injuries that required treatment overseas after he was arrested and tortured by the government.
Uganda’s next presidential elections are due to be held early 2021. Museveni, president since 1986, is widely expected to stand. While Museveni has not officially declared his intention to run for re-election but top organs of his ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party have endorsed him as their flagbearer.