At least 44 supporters of National Unity Platform have been
remanded to Kitalya Government prison on offenses of unlawfully wearing
uniforms similar to those exclusively gazetted for the country's armed forces.
The accused including men and women were on Friday afternoon
arraigned before City Hall Court Senior Grade One Magistrate Valerian Tuhimbise
where they were charged with two offenses.
The group is charged with unlawfully wearing uniforms
declared to be for the exclusive use of persons performing in the armed forces
of Uganda and disobedience of lawful orders.
Court heard that the accused persons on October 14 2020 in
Kamokya in Kampala District, not being persons serving in any of three armed
forces of the country were found either wearing or in possession of uniforms or
dresses bearing parts or having the appearance of close resemblance of the
The three armed forces are; The Uganda Prisons Services,
Uganda People’s Defense Forces and Uganda Police Force.
The said attires that were found with NUP supporters
reportedly had distinctive marks of the said armed forces’ uniforms such as
lanyards, pips and berets in a manner that is most likely to bring contempt
on that uniform.
It is alleged that the accused persons disobeyed
presidential orders on prevention of Covid-19 pandemic by gathering in large
numbers in Kamokya without observing social distance.
The accused persons who appeared in batches of ten people in
court all denied the charges.
They told court that
they never disobeyed the president's orders but instead, it's police which did
Court heard that the police officers are the ones who picked
the accused persons from various places in Kamwokya before bringing them
together in one place without observing social distancing.
The prosecution however told court that investigations into
this matter are still on going.
The accused person's lawyers led by Anthony Wameli attempted
to apply for bail but the Magistrate Tuhimbise told them that the numbers were very many and
there wouldn't be social distancing to avoid the spread of Covid-19.
Tuhimbise later remanded the women to Kigo Prison and men to
Kitalya prison until October 23 2020.
Court proceedings went
on amidst heavy joint security deployment and gates of the KCCA were closed for
non-staff members until the courts ended.
Hundreds of NUP supporters were
gathered outside court as those remanded screamed for justice and safety inside
police trucks saying they will continue supporting change of leadership in the
Women were crying fearing some strange objects that were inside a police car that they be harmful to them.
//Cue in: “Banange muno mulimu …
Cue out: …abange…obuki? //
//Cue in: “bagezako okututisatisa naye…
Cue out: …NUP everywhere”.//
The accused persons were arrested on Wednesday from National
Unity Platform headquarters in Kamwokya following a joint security operation aimed
at looking for attires resembling those of the army.
NUP has since complained that several documents including
those that had signatures nominating their leader Kyagulanyi for presidenti were taken during
the broad day raid.
On September 18 2019, UPDF published in the National Gazette
marks, accessories, insignia decorations and Uniform that the civilians are not
supposed to wear. These gazetted marks included those that resemble their
uniforms like pips, berets among others.