Monday, June 27, 2005

Exit Murambatsvina; enter Garikai/Live well, Pfekaizvakanaka/ Dress well, Svikaizvakana/Arrive well (and more?)

THE Zimbabwean government’s clean-up operation code-named "Operation Murambatsvina or Cleanup" is over claims the Sunday Mail, a pro-government weekly. In it’s place a new wave of initiatives among them, "Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle," which literally means live comfortably, Operation “Pfekazvaikanaka or dress properly” are sweeping across the country, and "Svikaizvakana or arrive properly".

Under operation garikai or live well, the government claims it will construct houses, micro, small and medium business facilities across the country by the end of August.

Operation pfekaizvakanaka or dress properly is allegedly a battle cry against progressive dress trends which have impinged on Zimbabwe's conservative dress styles. While it sounds good, the only problem is it is being sporadically enforced by ZANU-PF youths and the police across the country. According to Sokwanele, a civil action group based Bulawayo, police and youths are demanding that anyone seen sporting dreadlocks or women in pants change their attire immediately or risk a beating.

Like pfekaizvakana, svikaizvakana or arrive well is targeting the country's official ports of entry. Arriving diasporans and tourists are subject to intense searches and steep custom tariffs like never before. Also like pfekaizvakanaka, and because the government does not have the wherewithal or the desire, this operation is being enforced selectively. My sources tell me the arrival initiative targets people arriving on direct flights from European cities more than those arriving from other African countries.

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