THE Zimbabwean government has warned its citizens against manufacturing, selling or using the national flag arguing that it is illegal and those doing it were liable to prosecution and imprisonment if found guilty.
“The manufacture, sale and use of the national flag is governed by the Flag of Zimbabwe Act (Chapter 10:10) and the regulations made in terms of the Act, namely, the Flag of Zimbabwe (Use and Application of Flag) Regulations of 1987, Statutory Instrument 194 of 1987,” says a statement signed by justice, legal and parliamentary affairs ministry, permanent secretary Virginia Mabiza this the Zimbabwean government expressed concern with rising use of the national flag in a manner , which is prohibited by the Constitution and the relevant Act of Parliament.
“The Act makes it criminal offence to burn, mutilate or otherwise insult the national flag or any reproduction thereof, in circumstances which are calculated or likely to show disrespect for the national flag, or bring the national flag into disrepute.”
Mabiza warned that the offence carried a maximum fine of US$200 or imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both simultaneously.
She said it was also an offence to sell the flag or anything to which the flag had been applied or on which the flag had been used.
Sales and use of the Zimbabwean national flag have increased in the past few months, spiked by the #ThisFlag movement, which was led by self-exiled cleric, Pastor Evan Mawarire.
Mawarire used the Zimbabwean flag to register his defiance and unhappiness with the government, accusing the President Robert Mugabe-led administration of running down the economy and failing to fulfill its 2013 election promises. Zimbabweans in South Africa and world over have joined in using the flag, including legislators in parliament. –Patience Rusere