Monday, February 23, 2009

creating a problem...

...where no problem exists. Police in Mombasa, Kenya have fired teargas at hawkers, the Kenya Broadcasting Company reports, as they work to enforce a ban on hawking in the Central Business District.

There's an easy question here: why go after hawkers? They're just trying to make a living, and they're often the most vibrant part of the economy in the developing world.

Why is it that the elites of the developing world hate the street sellers, who are more important to the economic survival of their countries than all the elites put together?

UPDATE, one day later:

Abuja's doing the same thing, according to this article from The Daily Trust, via Essentially, the city was laid out in the 70s by American planners and Japanese architects working for the Nigerian government. Authorities in what's called the Federal Capital Territory crusade against non-conforming uses every couple of years. Right now it's the hawkers turn to suffer. And the city suffers because each time the government destroys these spontaneous markets, they reduce the excitement and fun and diminish the livability of the city.

No comments: