Zimbabwe

Zimbabweans face gloomy holidays

2013-12-25 16:31

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Special Report

Harare - Thousands of city-dwelling Zimbabweans travel back to their rural homes during the holiday season, taking gifts and foods for feasts to share with their families.

But this year, the holiday spirit has been dimmed by Zimbabwe's worsening economic situation marked by company closures and job losses.

Banks have experienced shortages of cash. Zimbabweans waited in long, winding lines at banks to withdraw money, but many depositors came out with a just a fraction of the money in their accounts that they had hoped to spend during the holiday period.

The bleak festive season caps a year marked by a disputed election in July, mired by allegations of vote-rigging, that long-time President Robert Mugabe won with a 61% majority against his major opponent and former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Mugabe, 90 in February, has gone on his annual leave until the end of January. He has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from British rule in 1980.

Tsvangirai, 61, blames Mugabe's administration for failing to deliver economic progress.

Bleak Christmas

"It is clear the current government stole Christmas from Zimbabweans. Hunger is stalking the nation," he said in a year-end message.

"I'm fully aware this is going to be a bleak Christmas with little or nothing to share. The nation is in a dire state."

Tens of thousands of workers swelled the unemployed because more than 700 companies shut down this year, according to a report by the state Social Security Authority. Zimbabwe's unemployment in formal industry is pegged at around 80%, say economists.

At the bus station in Harare's Mbare township, holiday travellers were determined, despite the hardships, to celebrate the holidays at their rural homes and carried beds and mattresses, building materials, seeds and fertilizer on buses.

Farewell to city life

One said he is bidding farewell to city life, as he won't have a job in 2014.

Blessmore Makuva, 38, said he won't be coming back to Harare as he sat beside a cart laden with two doors and roofing sheets waiting to be loaded onto a bus. He said he is going to complete building a house in rural northeastern centre of Mutoko.

Accompanied by his wife and two children Makuva said he used most of his money to buy the building materials and bus tickets to travel to the village.

"There is no use for us to stay in Harare. I've got no job, I can't pay the rentals," he said.

Makuva said he will farm on the small family plot. "I'm worried about my family's future," he said. "What lies ahead, I don't know."

- AP

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
170 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Strandfontein - 14:21 PM
    Road name: Strandfontein Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at 15th Avenue
  • Thursday Delft - 13:24 PM
    Road name: R300 Southbound
    ROADWORKS - right lane closed at the Hindle Road exit
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

24 hour sale- 30% off beauty products

Today only, get 30% on all hair care, skincare, selected cosmetics and fragrances. Offer expires midnight 24 April. While stocks last. Shop now!

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 3 Black 64GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 4G

Retina Display Finally the incredible Retina display technology from the iPhone...

From R7699.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be more sensitive today and can be influenced easily by the energies around you. Try not to be swayed too much by the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.