A camouflaged Christmas

IN ZIMBABWE Christmas is usually marked by new clothes and shoes, especially for the young generation.
Parents sacrifice a lot to make sure they make the young ones happy.

It is not Father Christmas, a Christmas tree or presents under the tree that bring joy to the young hearts, but the feeling of taking a bath and putting on those new clothes and shoes and feeling fresh.

A penny in the pocket to buy goodies would be an added advantage.

Sunday, December 25 was proof of this all over Zimbabwe, but especially in the country’s towns and cities, where the traditional Christmas colours where changed from red and white to the light and dark army greens combinations (the camouflage).

The young generation seemed as if they had all received clothes gifts from a Father Christmas resident at the army barracks.

Christmas Sunday felt like a huge military parade as most teenagers were showing off in camouflage wear.
Dungarees, tops, jumpsuits, trousers of camouflage were in overdose this Christmas, worn with tan boots.
While skirts and dresses of the same print was seen here and there.

One would have thought the clothes were being handed out for free and memes went flying out on social media with some calling it “#Christmas war”  while others called it a “#Christmas parade” or “#Christmas army”.
Clothes boutiques took advantage of the camouflage craze, with most mannequins also dressed in camouflage to attract more customers.

What could have caused the camouflage trend in Zimbabwe, one would ask, a country where donning anything camouflage is deemed as a break of the long standing law.

Could it be the influence from music artistes who have made the soldiers uniforms trendy, such as Jah Prayzah ( Mukudzeyi Mukombe) who calls himself and his fans “masoja (soldiers)” as well as Sniper Storm of the Love yemusoja hit track .

Police and the Army were called in to bring sanity to the craze, warning the public not to get carried away.
In Zimbabwe, according to the Defence Act (Chapter 11:02), wearing of camouflage materials by civilians, whether Zimbabwean or from any other country, is forbidden.

Section 99 (2) (c) of the Defence Act (Chapter 11:02 provides that “ Any person without authority who wears or uses any decoration supplied to or authorised by and member of the defence forces or the military forces or any decoration so nearly resembling such decoration as to be likely to deceive shall be guilty of an offence.

However it also gives exception to “provided that this subsection shall not apply to any uniform or decoration for the purposes of any bona fide stage, film or television production or military representation
What has changed?

Earlier this year a Harare magistrate sentenced Simbarashe Sithole who was claiming to be a member of the army for stripping a civilian who was wearing a camouflage T-shirt and further forcing him to do press ups and taking away his phone and a $1.

Section 99 of the Defence Act is hereunder repeated for easy reference, (1) In this section “uniform mean any article or articles of wearing apparel and includes a badge, button, braid of insignia, worm in association with any particular item or items of clothing and a ties.

“Any person who without authority; sells, offers or expose for sale, wears or uses any uniform supplied to or authorised for use by any member of the defence forces or other military forces of manufactures, sells, offers  or expose for sale, wears or uses any uniform so nearly resembling a uniform referred to in paragraph (2) as to be likely to deceive or wears or uses any decoration supplied to or authorised for sale by any member of the defence forces or other military forces or any decoration so nearly resembling such decoration as to be likely to deceive ; shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level six or to imprisonment for period not exceeding one year or to both such fine and such imprisonment.”

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