Harare — ZIMBABWEAN police in the northern city of Kariba have arrested a man on allegations of insulting and disrespecting the country's national flag. Courage Mushunje (25) has been charged with contravening Section 6 of the Flag of Zimbabwe Act Chapter 10:10 after he allegedly kept on walking when the national flag was being hoisted down at Kariba Border Post. Mushunje was arrested as he was processing the clearing of his two vehicles brought from Tanzania through the Kariba border post.
Prosecutors claimed Mushunje failed to respect the national flag as he kept moving while the national flag was being hoisted down by a security guard. He allegedly defied orders to stop and stand at attention as other citizens were doing. When confronted by an unidentified member of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) on why he was disrespecting the national flag, Mushunje reportedly told the state security agent not to bother him as the national flag did not belong to the member.
In Zimbabwe, during an official flag hoisting or lowering ceremony citizens must come to a halt and stand respectfully to attention for the duration. Kariba Magistrate Toendepi Zhou has granted the accused free bail. Mushunje's arrest comes amid a crackdown by police on civilians allegedly denigrating the flag. Others arrested are church leaders Evan Mawarire and Phillip Mugadza. The flag has been a symbol of growing protests against the government of President Robert Mugabe.