Home 2021 Elections Media houses warned against hosting NUP guests wearing berets

Media houses warned against hosting NUP guests wearing berets

Eddie Yawe and his brother Bobi Wine donning red berets.
Eddie Yawe and his brother Bobi Wine donning red berets. Courtesy Photos

Government has moved a further step to block National Unity Platform (NUP) officials wearing the red berets.

About a fortnight ago, security agencies raided NUP offices in Kamwokya, Kampala and confiscated red berets and other promotional materials with NUP insignia.

Gazetted as resembling military wear in 2019, the red beret has remained a point of contention between NUP and the security agencies.

Although the latter warned the former against donning the red beret, supporters of the political party and its People Power wing have remained defiant.

The resultant has been some arrests. Last week, police arrested NUP secretary general David Lewis Rubongoya after an NBS TV show for wearing a red beret.

But with some NUP and People Power politicians insisting on donning berets to radio and television shows, government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo has now warned media houses of consequences.

Opondo argues that if NUP wanted to stop the regulation outlawing the wearing of red berets, they should have run to courts of law to seek redress.

“The gazette by Uganda People’s Defence Forces stands until it’s quashed by a court of law. Anyone who wanted to stop the process would have sought a court injunction. But since no one has not gone to court, it is illegal to use the beret,” Opondo told media owners during an interface with security agencies on October 27 in Kampala.

“Those who are found culpable will be arrested.”

In the meeting, National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) decried harassment of their show hosts, reporters and guests.

“Respect and stop interfering with our programmes and desist from issuing unnecessary threats to media houses,” the association said in their petition to security agencies.

“In cases you believe, some of the programmes breach any regulations, the issue should be followed up with the relevant regulators and continue to support media houses and our journalists to operate 24/7 during curfew, election period and even after.”

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