Govt bans sale of replica flags

GOVERNMENT has invoked Statutory Instrument 184 of 1987 to ban the commercial production, sale or any abuse of the national flag, as it clamps down on protesters, who of late, had resorted to draping themselves with replica copies of the flag to register their displeasure against President Robert Mugabe’s alleged misrule.

BY STAFF REPORTER

Zim flags

In a statement yesterday, Justice ministry permanent secretary Virginia Mabiza said the offence attracted a fine of $200 or a jail term not exceeding one year or both.

“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, 1987, Statutory Instrument 194 of 1987,” Mabiza said.

“The Act makes it a criminal offence for any person 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 to bring the national flag into disrepute.

“The Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, as the administrative authority in charge of the national flag, is concerned with the increasing incidents whereby members of the public have been using the national flag in a manner that is prohibited by the Constitution and the relevant Act of Parliament and regulations. As such, the ministry wishes to draw the attention of the public to the existence of legislation governing the use of the national flag.”

The latest move by the Zanu PF government comes at a time anti-government protesters have rallied behind exiled cleric Evan Mawarire’s #ThisFlag campaign for good governance.

Mawarire launched the campaign in July this year, leading to his arrest after he led a national shutdown. He was subsequently charged with seeking to subvert a constitutionally-elected government.

Mawarire has since fled and sought refuge in the United States, but the momentum has not died down as opposition parties and civil society organisations have kept government on its toes with popcorn protests breaking out in various parts of the country each week.

The move is likely to hit vendors who had found a ready market for the flag among protesters and soccer fans.

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21 Comments

  1. Jona musorobhangu

    we will use the Mugabe portrait, with a large red X over it.

    1. This is not a ban as the act is clear on what it terms abuse of the flag. This is just a reminder not to burn, mutilate or disrespect the flag. Carrying the flag or wearing the flag is not abuse of the flag. The act does not ban reproduction of the flag. How did the writer/journalist come to that conclusion? This is shoddy journalism or what they term sensationalism. Misinformation to please who?

    2. hahahahahaha

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  3. Very strange.

  4. THE FLAGS BELONGS TO THE PEOPLE OF ZIMBABWE. Why banning it? Hudzvinyiriri pese pese,chibvai muende kwaZvimba sekuru nxaaaaa!

    1. This is not a ban as the act is clear on what it terms abuse of the flag. This is just a reminder not to burn, mutilate or disrespect the flag. Carrying the flag or wearing the flag is not abuse of the flag. The act does not ban reproduction of the flag. How did the writer/journalist come to that conclusion? This is shoddy journalism or what they term sensationalism. Misinformation to please who?

  5. Akati ndewe kwa zvimba ndiani. Zizi mu Huku. Bvunza Chingwedere.

  6. The banning of flags is somehow showing how we are sinking bank to I an Smith regime. We fought for this country to be free. Flags are a symbol of being Zimbabwean, a national pride, love, unity and prosperity. Banning flags is like saying lets ban patriotism. We did not fight to achieve this my dear CDES

    1. This is not a ban as the act is clear on what it terms abuse of the flag. This is just a reminder not to burn, mutilate or disrespect the flag. Carrying the flag or wearing the flag is not abuse of the flag. The act does not ban reproduction of the flag. How did the writer/journalist come to that conclusion? This is shoddy journalism or what they term sensationalism. Misinformation to please who?

  7. Nxaa lets manufacture yedu ine all colours nd we jst remove zim bird period nd we use it as our campaign flag these idiots are clueless

  8. This is not a ban as the act is clear on what it terms abuse of the flag. This is just a reminder not to burn, mutilate or disrespect the flag. Carrying the flag or wearing the flag is not abuse of the flag. The act does not ban reproduction of the flag. How did the writer/journalist come to that conclusion? This is shoddy journalism or what they term sensationalism. Misinformation to please who?

  9. 🙂 🙂 My New Flag proposition 🙂 kkk just use a plain Red cloth , plain Black, plain white or plain Green zvatopera this will give someone a headache kkkk 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  10. The Mugabe portrait must be banned too bcz to me is national flag. This portrait must be removed from all offices and dumped and all those found displaying this portrait must be arrested for abuse of mudara’s face bcz face iri pa portrait yakasiyana ne iri current

  11. Saka kuma warriors match haichatodikwi flag??

  12. ngakugadzirwe risina shiri.kkkkkkk

  13. so where do we get flags now? this month after my delayed pay was going to buy one to show how proud I am to be Zimbabwean. this flag goes not belong to mdc or zanu, its my flag and don’t take it away from me.

  14. I think if the words that you put here quoting the minister, did indeed come from the minister, then it is unfortunate that the minister & the Journalist do not understand the constitution. The constitution does not say you shall not use the flag for any civic purposes, as it is silent on the uses of the flag. The Act of 1987 Chapter 10: 10 that has been invoked does also not say that you may not use the the National Flag for any civic purposes. It only states that you should not burn, mutilate or engage in any conduct that will bring the National flag into disrepute. The last requirement is onerous as it does not define what brings the National Flag into disrepute & is Vague & open to interpretation. This is the provision that will be abused (sic) to arrest people as it may be applied in anyway by the Administration ( Zanu-pf). I say abused as according to the interpretation act any word in any act should be given its everyday literally meaning and only when the meaning lead to divergent meanings will the courts have to come in and apply the intent of the Law. Also the Acts that law seek to discourage or make people desist from should not be ambiguous but clear, according to the interpretation act. Therefore by definition using the National Flag for any purpose that has not been specifically prohibited by the act is not unlawfully. It may also be important to challenge this law as it may be unconstitutional as the constitution did not place any restrictions on any use of the National Flag, even Burning it. I have looked at schedule four of the constitution and this may amount to subversion of justice by the Administration as they do not have the constitutional right to place restriction on the National symbol nor have they been given the mandate to do so by zimbabwean stemming from the referendum & the constitution.

  15. Vapererwa manje vanhu ve zanu pf.Do they think banning the use of national is going to change the situation obtaining in our beloved country?Do they think its going to contain the anger that the people have against the regime?A clear case of dictatorship at play.What this regime is trying to do is akin to shutting the stable when the horse has bolted.The winds of change are already blowing and no amount of brutality can stop them.I never imagined the regime could stoop so low in their quest to retain power.Absolute power corrupts absolutely.Power has intoxicated them to stupor such that they have thrown away any shred of dignity.The are now bunch of drunken lunatics running away from their own shadows. Shame on you zanu pf and your apologists.

  16. YEAH, ZVAZOOMA MANJE. ISU VASINEYI NE POLITICS WE JUST WANT TO DON OUR FLAGS WHEN WARRIORS (SOCCER NAT. TEAM) ARE PLAYING – HAMENO TOITA SEI??

  17. There is, sad to say, nothing “alleged” about the appalling ‘Mu-garbage’ and his 36 years of self-indulgent and murderous misrule.

    And as others have noted, draping yourself with the national flag hardly amounts to “burning, mutliating or insulting” anything.

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