THE Ghana Armed Forces, (GAF) is embarking on an exercise to check the misuse of military uniforms by unauthorised persons.
It will also monitor television programmes to check the use of the uniforms including camouflage, by artistes.
The GAF intends to send letters to the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) and the Ghana Actors Guild to caution their members accordingly.
The Director of the Public Relations Unit of the GAF Col E.W.K Nibo made this known to the Times in an interview in Accra following public concern about the wide-spread use of military uniforms especially by artistes on television.
“We are going to monitor seriously and if we see any artist in a military uniform we will strictly apply the law. If you perform with the camouflage, you are misusing it and this is an offence. Even if you want to act a movie with our uniform, you have to be authorized to use it,” he said.
Col. Nibo said it was an offence to wear or use any military uniform, equipment or accoutrements or other material under the Restriction on use of Military Uniforms and Equipment Decree, 1967 (NLCD 177).
The decree provides in part, that “no person shall wear or use any military uniform, equipment or accoutrement or other material unless he is one of the following: A member of the Armed Forces of Ghana or a member of any other Armed Forces or is entitled by law or by diplomatic usage, to wear or use such uniform, equipment, accoutrement or material”.
In addition, an ex-service man could wear or use such uniform, equipment, accoutrements or material on ceremonial anniversary or other special occasion and a person who by Executive Instrument is authorized to wear or use such uniform, equipment accoutrement or material.
Col. Nibo therefore called on the public to help in bringing all those who flout the decree to book.
“It is important that the public reports anyone who is not entitled to use anything belonging to the GAF to us so that we can monitor the activities of such people. Sometimes people go to commit crimes in the military uniform and it creates problems for us”.
Col Nibo appealed to other security personnel at the country’s borders to alert GAF of any goods that include military property.
“It is also an offence to sell it”. We will not tolerate anyone who says he or she was ignorant of the law because we have sent press releases to almost all the media houses”.
He recalled that in 2008 when the GAF noticed that some artistes were misusing military uniform for television programmes, they wrote to all the television stations not to entertain such artistes.
Col Nibo said the GAF would send a reminder to the television stations after which any television station seen showing a music video or programme with any unauthorized persons in military uniform, will be sanctioned.
He said schools who wish their cadet corps to use military uniform must seek authorization from GAF which will assign a unit to supervise the use of the uniform on specific occasions.
“Their trainers are usually ex-military personnel so their use of the uniform is usually monitored. All schools who wish their cadet corps to use our uniform must be authorized by the Ghana Armed Forces or else it becomes an offence,” he added.
Col Nibo said for the avoidance of doubt military uniforms “include every manner of second hand military uniform used by the Armed Forces of Ghana or of any other country, notwithstanding that such uniform has ceased to be worn or used by such armed forces”.