An earlier article on this topic made a plea for government to reconsider the current demolition exercise based on the manner of implementation. A plea is once more being made.
What is being achieved? It seems it is just the aesthetics of seeing no one on the pavements (saying, yeah! at least the streets are clear). In fact, the pavements are only cleared of people but not the debris from the demolition which is more of an eyesore than the human traffic on the pavements. There is no vehicle traffic on the pavements – only pedestrians who sell, who buy and passersby.
Could the exercise not have been localized in certain areas of “congestion”? Even then, could it not have been more organized and planned by involving the affected persons (and Councils) to be organized around specific areas. Could it not have been an extended implementation of an orderly and planned project?
The exercise would have consequences on the supply chain. The people being cleared are the ones at the tail end of that supply chain from the level of the warehouse or importer. They serve the retail market of consumers by selling goods from those warehouses that have ordered goods with the expenses of foreign exchange and may be with a loan from the banks. Some goods are the produce from the toils of a harvest from agriculture – the backbone of the economy and the sector with most employment, especially for the poor. The loss of income goes all he way up to the importer. Thus, the households to be affected are those of an extended family.
It could affect the financial sector, especially for the microfinance institutions that provide for some of the affected persons. Thus, consumption is being disrupted, especially for the poor. It has an impact on the economy. The timing is inappropriate at this time of rising inflation.
There are no alternative locations for a market – the buying and selling of goods. The exercise, if there is to be one, should have been a way of getting order out of disorder – not by creating chaos out of disorder. People affected need to make a living.
After all, politically, these are basically the people who have the votes to decide the future governance in the coming elections.
Please, please temporarily halt the exercise and evaluate the consequences and have a better modus operandi.
Lamino Lang Coma