Here was a headline from yesterday: “Ivory Coast’s ex-president charged with theft.” (Story here.) Ho-hum, right? Well, maybe not the “charged” part. The missus was in on the act, too. Again, ho-hum. Former first lady Simone Gbagbo seems to have been a partner in every way. But I was interested in the language that the AP used: that the two have been charged with “economic crimes.”
Economic crimes. There are worse in Africa, as elsewhere. But, also as elsewhere, those are pretty bad: robbing the citizenry of the aid given to them, of the taxes they pay, of the very air they breathe, in a sense.
I’ve never liked the phrase “economic crimes” — it smells of Lenin, to me. But I guess it’ll do, sometimes.