Zimbabwe National Army Has No Tattoo Policy

May 24, 2024
Colonel Admire Ephius Mahachi with Commando Regiment Commanding Officer Lt Col Donald Washington Chidawanyika in Kariba on Saturday | Report Focus News

A senior official in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) clarified that the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) has no tattoo policy. Anyway Mutambudzi, the Chief Director of Strategic Communications for Presidential Communications, responded to an inquiry on X from a user named Chofamba.

Chofamba asked Government spokesperson Nick Mangwana and the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services to clarify the ZNA’s stance on tattoos. Chofamba shared an account of a young man whose recruitment to the officer training program was rescinded due to a small body art on his arm. ZNA recruiters allegedly told the young man that the army views individuals with tattoos as potentially having anger management issues, being emotionally unstable, and thus unpredictable and potentially dangerous under stress. Chofamba noted that while some armies around the world have prohibitions on tattoos and piercings, many are updating their policies, such as the British army, which now bars only tattoos that are “offensive, obscene or racist.”

Chofamba emphasized the importance of publicizing any such criteria in career guidance campaigns or incorporating them into civic education within the school system, so young Zimbabweans do not inadvertently disqualify themselves from military careers.

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

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

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