chapter  11
Stop the Woman, Save the State
Policing, Order, and the Black Woman’s Body
WithRudo Mudiwa
Pages 21

This chapter reads an “urban renewal” campaign in Zimbabwe in 2005 alongside a contemporary series of anti-prostitution sweeps targeting black women in the capital city of Harare. Official rhetoric justifying the policing and immobilization of sex workers and workers in the informal sector invoked colonial tropes of disease, filth, and pollution. Reading these two policing campaigns alongside each other reveals how, as the Zimbabwean state plunged into economic crisis, state power was applied to immobilize populations perceived to be contaminating the city and producing social and economic disorder.