Tuesday, February 1


After 27 years of civil war in Angola, Zambia's Western and North Western provinces are awash with weapons; an AK-47 costs the equivalent of 10 kg of maize (about $5). Further, there are reports of a burgeoning cottage industry: Karavinas, or contract killers, can be hired to settle a small domestic dispute or a major blood feud. They accept cash or livestock as payment.

Evidently, some Zambians are willing to walk for 7 seven days to market in order to avoid Karavinas.

In an effort to curb the spread of firearms, authorities recently introduced a weapons buyback program. Unfortunately, the program had the opposite effect: according to police in Mongu, the promise of cash encouraged people to import even more weapons from Angola.