fred enanga donning military attire by civilians
Fred Enanga the police spokesperson

The Uganda Police have vowed to intensify their crackdown on civilians wearing military attire in several parts of the country.

The Uganda Police have reiterated they will intensify crackdown on civilians wearing military attire in several parts of the country.

In a statement dated July 11th, Fred Enanga the police spokesperson said they have received evidence that these camouflage clothes are being sold mostly by dealers in second hand clothes.

He said operations have shown that the buyers of these clothes usually use them to commit crimes including abducting civilians and robbing them of their property.

“As the Joint Security Agencies, we continue to receive concerns over the sale of camouflage clothing by dealers of second-hand clothes, especially to criminal-minded persons who are now using them for criminal purposes,” Enanga said. 

“In all the operations carried out in the hotspot areas of Kyengera, Busega, Nateete, Nansana, Nabweru, Kawempe, Makindye and Mukono, we have recovered camouflage clothes being used by the criminal gangs for robbery,” he added indicating that they are now taking a tougher stance on any person found wearing or dealing in camouflage clothings in public.

Meanwhile, since last year, the police has been undertaking operations on the illegal use of armed forces uniforms. 

Speaking earlier on, the police spokesperson said the operations are normally targeting illegal manufacture, supply and distribution and selling of armed uniforms across the country including berets, pips, ranger boots and heavy jackets.

He said they rose to the occasion following a growing trend of civilians putting on military and police uniforms which he said needed to be checked.

This came after the police raided the National Unity Platform party offices and confiscated red berets that had become very popular with party members and their top leaders.

Speaking about the same, the then UPDF spokesperson Brig. Byekwaso asked all individuals in possession of theirs or the police’s patented designs to voluntarily hand them over.

The UPDF Act of 2005 of the government gazette reads it is prohibited to wear or use any decoration supplied or authorised for use by any member of the defence forces or any decoration so nearly resembling that decoration and likely to deceive the public.”

Section 170(2) of the Penal Code Act says that any person who, without the authority of the persons upon whose application an order under this section has been made, uses or wears any uniform, badge, button or other distinctive mark described in the order, or any uniform, badge, button or another distinctive mark so closely resembling the same as to lead to the belief that it is a uniform, badge, button or another distinctive mark so described, commits a misdemeanour.

The Penal Code Act, however, doesn’t specify the punishment for this offence but says “when any person is convicted of any offence under this section, the uniform, badge, button or another distinctive mark in respect of which the offence has been committed shall be forfeited unless the Minister shall otherwise order.”