Global Advanced Research Journal of History, Political Science and International Relations ISSN:2315-506X
May 2013 Vol. 2(2), pp 014-026
Copyright © 2013 Global Advanced Research Journals


Full Length Research Paper

Politicisation of urban space: Evidence from women informal traders at Magaba, Harare in Zimbabwe

Takunda J Chirau* and Paidashe Chamuka

Department of Sociology. Rhodes University, Lucas Avenue. Grahamstown. Eastern Cape. South Africa

*Corresponding Author E-mail:; Tel: 0781945281

Accepted 10 May, 2013


It is widely accepted, Zimbabwe has undergone a socio-economic and political crisis thereby seriously crippling livelihoods of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled Zimbabweans. In particular, political polarisation has contributed to politicisation of urban space to retain the long lost glory of the ruling party. However, the present study unfolds that the government has deliberately politicised urban space through using state organs: police, militia and customs, these are on vanguard disrupting efforts by ordinary women traders who live through their ingenuity. The study further revealed that despite the adversity they encounter in daily operations, women traders are not ‘trapped’ in structures but seek to negotiate and manoeuvre their way in and sometimes beyond these structures. These findings were elicited through in-depth interviews and a survey which are a genre of both qualitative and quantitative techniques. These findings are proposed within the Sustainable Livelihood Framework to examine the vulnerability context which complicates the lives and livelihoods of women traders.

Keywords: Politicisation, Sustainable Livelihoods, Informal Sector


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