Self-proclaimed presidential advisor on ghetto affairs, Mark Bugembe, also known as Buchaman has today surrendered a number of military attire that he said he had in his possession illegally.
Bugembe, in the company of his wife, kids and self-proclaimed ghetto members handed over the attire to the Kampala South Police Commander, James Ruhweza in Makindye on Tuesday morning.
“We are following the directive to hand over all the military attires that we had. I have been on a mission to collect all military attires from my ghetto people. I want to send my voice and appeal to all ghetto members throughout the country that we have only one army, called the UPDF,”Buchaman said.
He also issued a 14-day ultimatum to anyone with military and any security attires to hand them over of face the wrath of the law.
“This is a directive that get all military attires and take them to any nearby police station. Even those calling themselves ghetto presidents, you need to heed to this directive,” he warned.
The Kampala Metropolitan South Police commander, James Ruhweza applauded Buchaman and his ghetto group for leading by example.
The development comes on the backdrop of a warning security that operations to crack down on civilians donning military attire will go on.
“We shall continue with operations on illegal use of armed forces uniforms. They(operations) will be targeting illegal manufacture, supply and distribution and selling of the armed uniforms across the country including berets, pips, ranger boots and heavy jackets,”Enanga said.
The police spokesperson explained that there have been concerns from members of the public over the growing trend of civilians putting on military and police uniforms that he said had to be checked.
He noted that after the operation in Kampala, a number of people including celebrities have offered to voluntarily return the attires they illegally had in their possession.
“We call upon other civilians with military and police uniform or their replica to hand them to nearby military bases or police stations.”
Last week, security raided National Unity Platform offices in Kamwokya and other parts of the city where several people were arrested and other military attires confiscated.
However, a number of people have since said that the recent security raid in various parts of the city was only meant to curtail the National Unity Platform and their red attire including berets and overalls that had become popular especially among the youths.
The UPDF however said it is only taking back what it belongs to them.
“Due to continued illegal use of military and police stores and other military/police patented designs, a joint operation is ongoing to recover the same from the public. All in possession of such items are encouraged to voluntarily return them,”Brig. Byekwaso said shortly after the security personnel raid on NUP offices.
The National Unity Platform on Tuesday said they will not stop wearing their red attires including berets.
“When you read the UPDF Act, it talks about the badge which is referred to as the insignia. The badge is what matters and if these berets had a police or UPDF insignia, then you can not wear it. These berets have a People Power badge and they belong to us,”Joel Ssenyonyi, the NUP spokesperson said.
The latest move by Buchaman to hand over military attire in his possession has been seen by many as one meant to attract sympathy from members of the public following a recent incident in which he was condemned for assaulting Rocky Giant, a fellow singer.
The move is also seen by another section of the public as one meant to “disarm” his nemesis Robert Kyagulanyi’s National Unity Platform whose members who have since vowed not to stop donning their red berets.