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PEOPLE found wearing replicas of army uniforms would be arrested and prosecuted in terms of the law, the Zimbabwe National Army(ZNA) and the Zimbabwe Republic Police said yesterday in separate statements.
The warning came after many people during the Christmas holiday either sold or wore replica military gear at social gathering places in the capital, Harare.
ZNA spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Alphios Makotore in a statement said there was an upsurge of criminal activities in the country being committed by people wearing military regalia and tarnishing the image of the army.
“It is against this background that the ZNA wishes to advise traders and members of the public that it is unlawful to sell and wear any military regalia or replica whether from Zimbabwe or any other country,” Makotore said.
“Regarding artistes who perform while putting on army uniform, be advised that the wearing of any army uniform or decorations for the purposes of any bona fide stage, film or television production or military representation is an offence in terms of section 99(2) (c) of the Defence Act (Chapter 11:02). The artistes should have sought authority from army headquarters to do so,” Makotore added.
Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba also said police had noted with concern an increase in the unauthorised wearing of camouflage clothing.
She said Section 99 of the Defence Act Chapter 99 (2) prohibits the wearing and selling of camouflage clothing and all persons found wanting will be brought to book.
“As the police, we have noted with concern that some members of the public are confidently wearing camouflage printed clothes and this is very illegal as camouflage in the country is strictly worn by the army,” Charamba said.
“We are, therefore, warning all members of the public to do away with all their camouflage printed clothing as anyone found wearing this kind of print will be arrested without any hesitation”
Charamba said police around the country have been instructed to raid all shops that were selling camouflage printed clothes ,while the owners faced arrest.
Police in Manyame District have also been instructed through a memo to arrest all civilians wearing replica military uniforms.
The memo dated December 26, 2016 from Officer Commanding Manyame said it has been noted with concern an increase in the wearing of camouflage uniforms by unauthorised persons.
“Against this background, commanders are urged to ensure that culprits who wear or sell camouflage uniforms are brought to book without fail,” the memo read.
It also added that persons prosecuted and convicted in terms of the Defence Act are liable to a fine not exceeding level six or to an imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or both such fine and such imprisonment.
The warning came on the heels of another warning by the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs against people abusing the national flag. The warning was seen by many as an attempt to stop social movement #ThisFlag that had adopted the national flag as a symbol of its resistance. By Paidamoyo Muzulu.