Governing the Poor in Harare, Zimbabwe: Shifting Perceptions and Changing Responses

Synopsis

This is a study of the 'terrain of urban governance', using areas of Zimbabwe's biggest city Harare as case studies. It presents and discusses sets of perceptions of poverty and the poor which influence policy development and decisionmaking among urban 'governors'. Kamete shows the effects of positive as well as negative perceptions of the poor. He also problematizes more conventional understandings of poverty and includes into his own conceptual understanding dimensions of deficient access to participation and citizenship. He shows that the relationship between power and powerlessness among the poor is much more complex than is sometimes assumed.