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Zimbabwe -- Desperation on the streets
BBC News ^ | 2005-05-30

Posted on 05/30/2005 8:16:48 AM PDT by Clive

Zimbabwean cobbler Edwell - not his real name - has been mending shoes on the streets of the capital, Harare, for nearly 20 years. But the 46-year-old tells the BBC News website how police forced him off the pavement as part of a crackdown on the country's huge informal business sector.

It was just past noon when a Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) pick-up truck drove up to the pavement where I sit and mend shoes.

Two policemen accompanied by two other men got out. As they walked towards me they said: "You need to take your things and go."

I asked them why but they refused to explain.

They were very firm and just kept saying: "We don't want you, we don't want you here, we want you to go from this place."

Even though I was so afraid, I tried arguing with them but I failed.

'Wrong side'

Full of fear, I tried asking again but all they would say was: "We don't want excuses."

Shouting, "Listen, take your things and go" they then started chasing the ladies selling vegetables away and so I put all my tools and customer's shoes into my sack.

The ladies were all chased out.

I haven't seen them since. They're not selling vegetables any more and so they must be suffering too.

The men didn't take anything from me but I was so afraid.

I am lucky because the owners of the business near the pavement, where I mended shoes for about 20 years, are letting me work in their yard.

But now only my regulars know where I am. Passers-by cannot see me anymore because now I am on the wrong side of the wall.

There is little fuel now and commuter buses are very scarce and so I walk the 10km to work and then back home again when it is dark.

Driven to tears

I am suffering even more than before now.

My family is suffering because I am not doing anything.

I am not very busy, sure.

I charge Z$15,000 ($0.26) to fix heels and for soles it is about Z$35,000 ($0.60) and now that I am hardly doing anything I am crying.

I recently had to buy my 15-year-old son some things for school. All I could afford was his books, a new pair of shoes and socks and some short trousers and it came to over Z$200,000 ($3.60).

I still have to pay his school fees for this term which come to Z$350,000 ($6.20).

I don't know how I will be able to.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: africa; turass; zimbabwe
Box Quote:

"I am suffering even more than before now, my family is suffering because I am not doing anything."

1 posted on 05/30/2005 8:16:48 AM PDT by Clive
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To: blam; Cincinatus' Wife; sarcasm; happygrl; Byron_the_Aussie; robnoel; GeronL; ZOOKER; Bonaparte; ...

-


2 posted on 05/30/2005 8:17:17 AM PDT by Clive
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To: Clive

I really don't understand the purpose of all this, chasing these folks off the sidewalks and not letting them make some sort of living such as it is. Does anybody know? I no doubt missed something.


3 posted on 05/30/2005 8:23:53 AM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)

From what others have said on this forum, Mugabe's country is falling apart, so he has basically sold it to the Chinese. The Chinese have been complaining that the Zim black market is interfering with their business, so it must go.


4 posted on 05/30/2005 8:30:00 AM PDT by I still care (America is not the problem - it is the solution..)
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To: Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)

"I really don't understand the purpose of all this..."

In a word...Mugabe. Here's a link that may help.......

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1413186/posts


5 posted on 05/30/2005 8:31:50 AM PDT by nuconvert (No More Axis of Evil by Christmas ! TLR) [there's a lot of bad people in the pistachio business])
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To: Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)

it's also a way to increase power by eliminating independent sources of income.

Classic dictatorship 101 methods usually induce famines to make the masses dependent on the state for food.
They also eliminate as much private economic activity as possible, also tying the masses into dependence on the state/party for support.
It's amazing how communist, fascist, and even generic thuggist dictatorships all rely on the same obvious methods for control, and still people march along...


6 posted on 05/30/2005 8:39:48 AM PDT by Will_Zurmacht
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To: Clive
Hmmmm Zimbabwe thrived economically when it was Rhodesia.... I WONDER.... What Happened?
7 posted on 05/30/2005 8:43:11 AM PDT by Bob Eimiller (Kerry, Kennedy, Pelosi, Leahy, Kucinich, Durbin Pro Abort Catholics Excommunication?)
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To: Bob Eimiller

</sarcasm>


8 posted on 05/30/2005 8:43:51 AM PDT by Bob Eimiller (Kerry, Kennedy, Pelosi, Leahy, Kucinich, Durbin Pro Abort Catholics Excommunication?)
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Here's an interesting comment from one of their readers, further down towards the end of the article:

"I spent 1993-94 teaching in Zimbabwe and had street tailors repair clothing. It is so sad to think of what Mugabe has done to hard working students and their parents who struggled to give them an opportunity. The USA share much of the blame for allowing this to happen. P Hawxhurst, Houston, TX, USA"

See? It's Bush's fault!

9 posted on 05/30/2005 8:44:42 AM PDT by Honcho Bongs
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To: Bob Eimiller

Communism/socialism....doesn't work? hmmmm


10 posted on 05/30/2005 8:45:17 AM PDT by Bob Eimiller (Kerry, Kennedy, Pelosi, Leahy, Kucinich, Durbin Pro Abort Catholics Excommunication?)
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To: nuconvert

Thank you for the link.

I still don’t understand it. For what purpose? Well then, how can any of us understand the workings of a warped, sick mind?

This blows my mind.

Thank you again.


11 posted on 05/30/2005 8:47:05 AM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: Bob Eimiller

Hey Hillary..... It Takes a Village?? Really??


12 posted on 05/30/2005 8:47:47 AM PDT by Bob Eimiller (Kerry, Kennedy, Pelosi, Leahy, Kucinich, Durbin Pro Abort Catholics Excommunication?)
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: Clive

Pack up your family and belongings and leave, walk away as fast as you can.


14 posted on 05/30/2005 8:58:16 AM PDT by hershey
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To: Will_Zurmacht
it's also a way to increase power by eliminating independent sources of income.

Classic dictatorship 101 methods usually induce famines to make the masses dependent on the state for food.

Thank you. Now I understand it. And many will starve to death in the process which will make for less mouths to feed. What a sicko, feral animal Mugabe is.

15 posted on 05/30/2005 8:58:52 AM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: hershey

This advice is meant for the author of the article. If several thousand Costa Ricans can decide they're sick and tired of poverty, corruption, and hurricanes, and walk north to the US with the stated intention of never returning....and do just that, then people in Africa can leave when conditions are intolerable and they can't effect change at home. They've done it for centuries.


16 posted on 05/30/2005 9:02:49 AM PDT by hershey
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To: Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)

I actually had this explained to me by a lecturer who spends about 6 months in the third world every year. He's a flaming lefty, but semi-honest in that one point I remembered from him is that based on his research "There is no such thing as "famine" as we once understood it. We have plenty of food, It's simply a question of control and distribution of various food stuffs."

His research explained how time and again famines are "created" by regimes in the third world who seek to reward friends or punish enemies. It also makes the people dependent on gov't food distributions, which increases the power of whatever thug happens to be in charge. Thug gov't do the same with medicines and vaccines and education and jobs. By controling the peoples access to food, water and medicine, and livelihoods the regimes become the providers of the basic neccessities of the masses, and then the people literally cannot live with the direction party/junta/state. Frightening, and makes you thankful we live where we do.


17 posted on 05/30/2005 9:43:44 AM PDT by Will_Zurmacht
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To: Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)

The purpose of driving these people off the streets is to ensure government control of the economy. It's right out of the Stalin playbook. When people can't eat without government approval, they have to bow to the government.

The paranoid Mugabe won't stop until he feels he controls everything. He is a dictator in the Stalinist mold, which is one reason he is admired by left-wing cranks the World over.

The way to deal with this situation is to support the revolt that is likely to come.


18 posted on 05/30/2005 10:19:28 AM PDT by popdonnelly
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To: I still care
From what others have said on this forum, Mugabe's country is falling apart, so he has basically sold it to the Chinese. The Chinese have been complaining that the Zim black market is interfering with their business, so it must go.

I'd rephrase that to say that the Free Market is interfering with their business. There's no suggestion that these people are doing anything illegal. The comments suggest that they don't know that they are doing something wrong, nor are the Police saying what they are doing wrong.

Crackdowns on black markets aren't news. Portraying this as a black market is a boon to Mugabe and an injustice to these people.

19 posted on 05/30/2005 10:42:42 AM PDT by slowhandluke (Freedom is worth the risks.)
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To: Bob Eimiller

Rodesia was a prosperous country because of the exploitation of the peoples of color by white capitalists. Now the country is fair and balanced.

< / sarcasm.>


20 posted on 05/30/2005 11:10:00 AM PDT by doc30 (Democrats are to morals what and Etch-A-Sketch is to Art.)
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To: doc30

LOL...Great tag line!!


21 posted on 05/30/2005 5:33:19 PM PDT by Bob Eimiller (Kerry, Kennedy, Pelosi, Leahy, Kucinich, Durbin Pro Abort Catholics Excommunication?)
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