Laws exist in order to regulate society; to protect people; to enforce rights and to solve conflicts.

However, some countries make laws that are deemed outlandish and whose intentions remain unclear. In some cases, these laws are dictatorial and go to show just how much control governments have in such countries.

From banning imports of fruits, mineral juice to not being allowed to call your new born ‘Monica’, here are some of the strangest laws in African countries:

It is against the law for pregnant women to wear hats in Madagascar.

A woman that is seen wearing pants/trouser in Swaziland, can be punished by having the pants ripped off of her, and torn into pieces by soldiers. In fact, a Swazi woman was banned from being nominated to stand as a member of parliament because she was wearing trousers at the nomination centre.

It is also illegal for young girls to shake hands with men in Swaziland.

In the African community people always come together to give names to new borns. However, if you are in Guinea, be careful not to call your little one Monica since it is illegal in the country.


It is illegal to paint your house in Mozambique, without first obtaining permission from the municipality.

Importing fruits, beer, soft drinks, mineral water, and sparkling wine is illegal in Nigeria, and you may be found guilty in a court of law and be fined or jailed if found guilty of the offense.


Zimbabweans are allowed to utter any words, or make any movement or gesture that might be construed to be offensive to President Mugabe or any member of his escort, when the presidential motorcade passes.


It is deemed illegal in Egypt to use binoculars near an airport.


It is against the law for men and women to sit together, without a chaperone.

Also, if you help someone that was injured in an accident, and they die while you are trying to help them, you can be charged and legally are partially responsible for their death.