The Uganda Peoples Defence force – UPDF has cautioned the public to desist from selling and donning any attire that has resemblance to military uniforms.
The action has several security implications, undermines the laws governing use of military attire and particularly contravenes section 164 of the UPDF act-2005, UPDF spokesperson Lt. Col Paddy Ankunda says.
The act prohibits any person, without authority, from manufacturing, selling, offering or exposing for sale, wearing or using any uniform supplied to or authorized for use by the Defence Forces or any uniform so nearly resembling it.
In the same act, a military uniform is defined as any article of wearing apparel and includes a badge, button, braid or insignia, worn in association with any particular item or items of clothing, and a tie. The same provision makes it an offense for unauthorized sale or wearing of such uniforms.
As such, dealers in second hand clothes are also advised to declare and handover such attire to security agencies as soon as they are discovered in their stocks, Ankunda added in a statement released this afternoon.
Several vendors have over the years unknowingly imported and sold clothing with prints that are similar to military uniforms although they in most cases come from foreign military jurisdictions and inscriptions.
But the army says the presence of such outfits is a threat to national security considering an increase in reports of the illegal use of military attire by some members of the public.
“With the current security situation of heightened terror threats, coupled with increasing ‘uniformed’ criminals, and impersonators, and in order to reduce chances of infringement on security of innocent Ugandans, by dangerous elements, the public is encouraged to dispose of such attire to security agencies and report any such characters still in possession of the same.”
He added that; “whereas section 164 (2) of the Act permits artists to use the attire same for Bona fide stage, film or television productions, it shall only be done with proper authorization from the Defence Forces and handed back to the Defence Forces stores immediately after the performance.”
Persons who violate this directive risk an imprisonment term of up to 7 years, on conviction.