The Ugandan government has banned the public from wearing the red beret, which is the trademark symbol of Uganda’s prominent opposition leader Bobi Wine.
The country’s army designated the red beret and tunic as “official military clothing” on Monday, AFP reports.
This means that civilians wearing them run the risk of being arrested and imprisoned.
In a statement, Bobi Wine slammed the ban as “a sham.”
It is a blatant attempt to suffocate a successful threat to the autocratic status quo. But People Power is more than a red beret, we are bigger than our symbol.Bobi Wine
Bobi Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, set aside a successful career as a musician to become an activist and opposition politician.
He is one of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s fiercest opponents and has vowed to contest him in the country’s 2021 elections.
He adopted the red beret as his trademark symbol soon after it was popularised by Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in South Africa.
Ugandan authorities have frequently detained Bobi Wine for leading anti-government protests.
In September 2018, he had to seek hospital treatment in the United States after a stint in police custody.
73-year-old Museveni has been Uganda’s president since 1986 when he seized power after leading an armed rebellion.
In July, Uganda’s highest court approved a constitutional change removing the presidential age limit of 75 that was previously in place.
This allows Museveni to seek a sixth term as president in 2021.