In a statement yesterday, the Zimbabwe National Army, through its Director of Army Public Relations, Lieutenant-Colonel Alphios Makotore, said it noted with grave concern a proliferation in the sale and wearing of military regalia by the public.
Harare was dominated by military wear during the Christmas holiday with Zimbabweans of all age groups dressed in combat fatigues.
“Resultantly, there has also been an increase in the number of armed robberies by criminals wearing clothes resembling military uniforms or replicas of camouflage. There are also cases of individuals who are bent on tarnishing the image of the ZNA. The ZNA will guard against the misuse and abuse of its uniforms or any apparel resembling such,” said Lt-Col Makotore.
He added: “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.”
Lt-Col Makotore said an army uniform by definition means any article or articles of apparel which include a badge, button, braid, or insignia worn in association with any particular item or items of clothing and a tie.
He also warned performing artistes against abusing military uniforms.
“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.”
The same provision prohibits the public from wearing military regalia.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police will arrest culprits found in contravention of the above provisions using standing statutes and cause their appearance before the courts of law for prosecution,” said Lt- Col Makotore.