Vendors defy govt's Zim flag order

HARARE - Despite threats of arrest from government, vendors have continued selling the country’s national flag at busy traffic intersections.

Apparently, reacting to the new wave of patriotism that has seen anti-President Robert Mugabe protestors draping the national flag, on Tuesday government warned that anyone who will manufacture or sale the country’s flag without permission from the ministry of Justice risks imprisonment or a fine.

Since a protest dubbed #Thisflag campaign began vendors have been recording brisk business from selling the national flag and the ban by government has thus not been heeded.

A defiant National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe (Navuz) leader Sten Zvorwadza vowed to continue selling the flag.

“Tiri kuda kumachipisa (we want to make them cheaper). So far we are selling them at $1,50 but we are working to have them retail for as little as $0.80 cents, so that everyone has access to one,” he said.

“As citizens, we stand guided by a common and practical custom that there is nothing wrong by being proud of your country through display of your national flag.

“This repressive government cannot cow us. We have a clear message for the government and our message is that; we will continue to use national flags in the manner we deem necessary.

“This government should rather concentrate on putting things right in this comatose economy rather than doing cat and mouse play with citizens over use of national flag.”

In a strong worded statement secretary for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary affairs Virginia Mabiza warned that perpetrators will face a penalty that may include a fine not exceeding $200 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding a year or both.

“Members of the public who engage in any action or activity which involves the sale or manufacture or use in contravention of the law are therefore warned that they are liable to prosecution, and are liable to be imprisoned if they are found guilty by a court of law,” she said.

However, legal experts said the ban was unconstitutional since it is  an infringement of identity, dignity and free expression.

Comments (5)

What´s more important than the other, The National Flag or The People of the National Flag?

white Horse - 23 September 2016

The only country that outlaws and criminalise its national flag.

X-MAN IV - 23 September 2016

it must be the flag. kkkkk

kelly - 23 September 2016

5 years ago in parliament Magwegwe MDC MP raised the FLAG issue with the then Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa. Mafa asked, " What are the legal implications of selling national flags that are being sold everywhere on the roads?" "What are the implications of selling national emblems and who benefits from the proceeds?" Chinamasa replied: " Thank you hon. member for your question, the National Flag Act comes under the adminsitration of my ministry, so i am in aposition to clarify the position. ANY COMPANY CAN MANUFACTURE THE NATIONAL FLAG, WHAT IS NOT PERMITTED IS TO IMPRINT ON IT ANYTHING THAT SHOULD BE NOT ON THE NATIONAL FLAG. THEREFORE, AS LONG AS IT IS REPRODUCED FAITHFULLY, IN TERMS OF WHAT THE ACT PROVIDES, THERE IS NO LEGAL IMPLICATION". Mafa further asked: "My main question was the proceeds of the sales of national emblems?" Chinamasa replied, "THE PROCEEDS GO TO THE ENTREPRENEUR". Zanu PF please stop kicking the can down the road in every issue in Zimbabwe. Siyai flag ritengeswe, vanorifarira vatenge! We are patriotic Zimbabweans and cherish our flag!

Daniel5 - 23 September 2016

If you see a gvt talking about wearing a flag or selling it, vashaya basa, THEY NO LONGER HAVE NEW IDEAS. We are saying fix the economy, they say citizens wearing a flag symbol must go to jail, NONSENSE!!!!!!!

batanai - 24 September 2016

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