Monday, July 18, 2016

Zimbabwe playing double standards on imports

So, South Africa and Zimbabwe are embroiled in a trade battle of imports, when the Southern African Development Community promotes trade in the block?
I find it laughable. While it is true that South Africa behaves like Big Brother watching over little sister, and uses, to some degree, the continent as a dumping site, this can only be because South African products are durable. More durable than Chinese goods! I mean, Chinese goods designed for low-income markets.
And, in this regard, the Chinese cannot be blamed as well.
Back to the Zimbabwe-South Africa issue.
It seems that Comrade Bob is worried that the influx of South African products --including water, for nature'sake, camphor [again, for nature's sake] -- is choking local business in Zimbabwe.
So, Uncle Bob decides to limit the type of products to cross the borders into Zimbabwe, in much the same way as South Africa attempted to limit the number of Zimbabweans making it across the borders into South Africa during Zimbabwe's years of economic rot.
But South Africa is having none of it. South Africa is sending a list of 100 products to Zimbabwe. It wants Zimbabwe to choose, out of the list, which ones to ban and which ones to open the borders for.
Good move.
However, I think Zimbabwe is playing double standards. Other African countries have played the dumping-site-role for Zimbabwe and meekly--like sheep that is yet to be introduced to the word 'revolt'-- accepted the position.
Take Malawi, for instance. We have apples from Zimbabwe. We have onions from Zimbabwe. We have sweet potatoes from Zimbabwe. We have salt from Zimbabwe.
And Zimbabwe wants to control imports from other countries?
And Zimbabwe has imposed heavy import taxes on goods from other countries, South Africa and Malawi inclusive?
That must, like always, Zimbabwe's kick in the mouth of Father Africa and, by extension, regional integration.

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