Malawians have asked the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) to stop assaulting civilians for wearing camouflage.
This follows an incident where army officers severely assaulted a young man for wearing camouflage.
Social commentator Onjezani Kenani said the soldiers should be civilized and should find something to keep themselves busy if they have nothing to do.
“Malawi Defence Force soldiers, please stop this nonsense of beating up poor Malawians who are found wearing camouflage clothing. Do you, perhaps, have nothing useful to do? Today, here in Austria, I saw a girl wearing camouflage. I said to myself, If it was back home some military thugs could have flogged her to within an inch of her life,” he said in a Facebook post.
Commenting on Kenani’s post, Harry Doc Negotiator said there are many things the soldiers could be doing such as patrolling Lake Malawi or protecting persons with albinism.
“Yet they busy protecting camouflage colours. Just colours of a cloth. The country has a lot to do with soldiers. They can patrol border bypass routes all across the country and force people to use border entries. So many people smuggling things in and out of the country. But our soldiers are rotting in the barracks.
“They can keep busy training in prep for a possible marine battle. Training in water in a duty of every soldier and is supposed to be endless because we have a lake. If we are attached via the lake it could a big disaster if our soldiers don’t know water combat. They could patrol the lake saving drowning civilians.
“Every day we hear of people drowning on boats. So many jobs for them. But u know what their job is beer holes and beating civilians. Let’s keep talking these things. Because one day we will all be soldiers fighting for our country against a foreign invader,” he said.
“These clothes are sold in commercial shops and another just take it upon themselves to force you not dress, I have found it nonsensical as well,” said another commenter.
However, some Malawians argued that civilians use the camouflage clothes in criminal activities.
Said one commenter: “Thugs steal the gear and use it in crime. The MDF has to protect their image. Unfortunately violence and intimidation seems to be the only way our law enforcers use to rectify the problem.”