Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Murambatsvina 2; cleanup or pre-election intimidation?

By now you know the Zimbabwean government have continued their ill advised campaign against the informal market over the weekend when they arrested 15,000 people. Read about it here.

I don't know about you, but it strikes me as odd that they'd effect this new terror on the people around the same time they announced dates for the senate elections. Was this latest raid an authentic follow up to the botched cleanup of a couple months ago. Has Harare's government not realized that they will never win the battle against the informal market with bad they've kept the formal economy?

A quick word about the so-called "black/informal market." Ask any economist, they'll tell you the blackmarket provides for the exchange of goods and services which are not tradeable on the formal market. Things like cocaine, prostitution, fake name brand clothing etc. In real terms the "black market" is an extension of the formal market to cover goods that the powers that be won't allow on the market place.

Question, how black is the black market if it has become the prime source for the exchange of essentials for peopl as is the case in Zimbabwe? Answer; its not very black anymore.

This is one very saintly blackmarket.

Back to the issue at hand. Could this have been instead a reminder to urban dwellers of just vulnerable they are? Is ZANU-PF, have learned this lesson from the the last elections, playing its' violent hand early. Imagine this, if you're a poor albeit hardworking urban dweller in Zimbabwe. Having just survived the cleanup and going through. Wouldn't it be front and center on your mind that if the senate elections go awry for ZANU-PF, you would be staring a very cruel retribution? I don't know, maybe that's just me.

These are the times we live in.

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