Legal mind backs SPC caution on flags and emblems – Capital Radio Malawi
18 June, 2024

Legal mind backs SPC caution on flags and emblems

The Malawi National flag,- should be protected at all times

A legal analyst is stressing that national flags, emblems and names are supposed to be protected, as some individuals take advantage of the same in order to gain certain favours.

The remarks follow a caution statement from the Office of the President and Cabinet against reckless use of such symbols which it insists is an offence under the laws of Malawi.

In a statement issued yesterday, Secretary to the President and Cabinet – SPC Colleen Zamba is advising Malawians to seek permission before using, displaying, manufacturing or selling the protected emblems.

The SPC’s caution has, however, met with strong public criticism with many wondering whether the move is not restricting citizens from expressing their sense of patriotism.

 “Imagine a situation where a person is driving a black Mercedez benz and its flying a flag and its approaching a roadblock, what sort of communication is that passing to the police officers, it may pass a message that the person riding the car is a government official, perhaps a minister, perhaps the police should not search it,’’ elaborated Justin Dzonzi Executive Director Justice Link.

He however stressed that the issue for instance might be placement of the flag.

“Placing the flag in the car or at the back of the car I don’t think it is wrong but the problem can only come in if its placed on a bonnet of a vehicle  and its driven it gives a certain message that may give you an air official dome when you don’t have it,’’ Dzonzi clarified.

Previously there have been cases where it was perceived that certain individuals have privileges to do what they want, regardless of the law.

Dzonzi also referred to previous cases of motorists who violated road regulations such as use of recommended registration number plates under the pretext of being former president loyalists.

’’A lot of vehicles in town didn’t have proper number plates they were Ana a adadi, Adadi 1, and the message that those symbols were communicating was that these are individuals who have certain privileges, they can do certain things that are not acceptable under the road traffic act,” .

Meanwhile, members of the public are calling on the authorities to clarify on what use of the flag, emblem and protected names constitutes abuse.

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