In attempting to curb the flag fury of Zimbabweans, last month, Zimbabwe had set a flag crackdown in motion by introducing the Flag of Zimbabwe Act which basically bans any trade involving the national flag without official permission.
Justice Ministry official Virginia Mabiza had said in a statement released at the time about the Flag of Zimbabwe Act that;
“Members of the public who engage in any action or activity, which involves the manufacture, sale or use of the national flag in contravention of the law are therefore warned that they are liable to prosecution and are liable to imprisonment if they are found guilty by a court of law.”
The first victim of that flag crackdown has been taken down as a judge in Zimbabwe fined a Chinese national for selling the national flag without authorisation, according to reports by state-run Herald newspaper.
State-run Herald newspaper identified the flag crackdown victim as businessman Weidong Li. The 28-year 0ld Chinese national was fined $20 (£16) and in total 314 flags were seized.
When passing the sentence against Mr. Weidong, presiding judge Tendai Mahwe said that he was showing him leniency and that the accused had saved the court’s time by pleading guilty. Judge Tendai Mahwe was quoted by the Herald as saying;
“You bought the flags in China and you were selling them for profit,” He also added; “The moral blameworthiness is low and I will take into consideration that you will lose your flags.”
The Chinese national was arrested after officials found the flags on display for sale at his shop in Harare and he has become the first person to be found guilty of going against the Flag of Zimbabwe Act, but will he be the last? Or will Zimbabweans see this as another reason to go harder against their government and take back their flag.
We’ll just have to wait to find out.