Civilians adorning camouflaging military attires or pieces of clothing that resembles the combat uniforms now face prosecution in Tanzania as the army moves to take the misused garbs off the streets.
The Tanzania People’s Defence Force has just issued a statement in Dodoma warning residents that possess such attires to stop doing so because of late the uniforms or clothes spotting army colours have been used to commit crimes.
Some of the army kits being used by civilians either innocently or with intention to cunningly swindle other people, include combat uniforms, jackets, trousers, rain coats, gowns, hats, boots, backpacks and even rucksacks.
The Director of Information and Public Relations, for the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) Lieutenant Colonel Gaudentius Gervas Ilonda, said there have been a series of incidents where such army attires were used to threaten people and swindle them of their valuables including cash.
Lieutenant Ilonda pointed out that there are even some institutions, companies and corporations outfitting their workers with uniforms that closely resemble army kits.
He said the illegal usage of the army’s uniforms or civilians adorning resembling garbs was going contrary to the National Defence Act (NDA), and the country’s Penal Code as well as the National Security Act (NSA)
The army now wants all people possessing such apparels to surrender them to nearest police stations, army camps or any authoritative office before they launch a nationwide crackdown.
The ultimatum also applies to garments dealers, second-hand clothes traders and other tailor marts to ensure that they clear their stock of army-looking attires by also submitting them to authorities and not attempting to sell the garbs.
“As for actors, musicians and other performers who sometimes use army clothes for their artistic endeavours, these should first seek proper permits before adorning military fatigue for such activities,” said the TPDF spokesperson.
Many Tanzanians usually acquire military-looking outfits from consignments of second-hand clothes being imported into the country and sold cheaply in local garments outlets.