“Zimbabwe National Army Has No Tattoo Policy”

"Zimbabwe National Army Has No Tattoo Policy"

Africa-Press – Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) has no tattoo policy, a senior official in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC), has said.

The Chief Director of Strategic Communications, Presidential Communications (OPC), Anyway Mutambudzi, was responding to an X user, Chofamba, who had asked about the ZNA’s policy on tattoos.

Chofamba asked the Government spokesperson Nick Mangwana and the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, to clarify the issue of tattoos, claiming that a young man had his recruitment rescinded by the ZNA because he had a tattoo on his arm. Chofamba wrote on X:

I have a question concerning some of the ZNA’s recruitment criteria. I was talking to a young man whose recruitment to the officer training programme has been rescinded because he was found to have a tiny tattoo on his arm.

The explanation he was given by ZNA recruiters for this denial of a life-changing career opportunity was that the army views people with any sort of tattoos as having anger management issues, emotionally unstable and therefore unpredictable and potentially dangerous under conditions of stress.
I’ve found that armies around the world do have prohibitions on tattoos and piercings, and some of these policies are being reformed. An example is the British army, which has updated its policy to bar tattoos that are “offensive, obscene or racist”.

I’m sure most young Zimbabweans who would like to join the military are unaware of these criteria. It would be great to publicise this in career guidance campaigns or incorporate it in civic education within the school system so that young people do not inadvertently disqualify themselves from careers in the armed forces.

Chofamba later pointed out that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s son, Sean Mnangagwa, who is a Major in the ZNA, is tattooed.

In another question directed at Mangwana, Presidential Spokesperson George Charamba and Mutambudzi, Chofamba wrote: “What really is the Zimbabwe National Army’s policy on tattoos?”

In response, Mutambudzi, “There is no tattoo policy in the ZNA. Army is about shooting straight and taking the initiative from the enemy whether you have a tattoo or not.”

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