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By Staff Reporter

TWIN Zimbabwean brothers were charged with indecent exposure after strolling up to an up-market Harare shopping mall wearing only traditional goatskin loin cloths, a state-run newspaper reported Sunday.

Tafadzwa and Tapiwanashe Fichiani, 22, returned recently from 2 1/2 years in Britain vowing to promote an authentically African lifestyle, the Sunday Mail reported.

They were arrested at their home in Harare's plush Mount Pleasant suburb after complaints by indignant shoppers about their revealing attire, police spokesman Andrew Phiri told the paper. They were released pending prosecution.

Tafadzwa Fichiani told the paper they would continue wearing the loin cloths, known as nhembe, regardless of the penalty, a maximum fine of 25,000 Zimbabwe dollars (less than 30 US cents).

"We do not care what people say or think about us because we regard them as colonized," his brother, Tapiwanashe, was quoted as saying. "Why do they laugh at someone wearing nhembe, yet their ancestors wore nhembe before they were colonized?"

Despite coming from a wealthy family, the two refuse to sleep on Western-style beds and are vegetarians. They plan to move out of their expensive house in what was, until 1979, a whites-only suburb, to continue "God's work."

By opting for traditional Zimbabwean attire, the brothers are breaking with fashions set since independence from Britain in 1980 by the always immaculately coutured President Robert Mugabe, 81.

Mugabe was noted for buying his suits from London's Savile Row tailors until the United States and European Union imposed targeted sanctions in 2000 curbing his right to travel in protest at alleged human rights abuses - AP

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