Christmas in Zimbabwe

Life in Zimbabwe will hold very little for Christmas this year according to IRINnews reporting for the UN Office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs:

“This year’s Christmas will be recorded as the worst in living memory for Zimbabweans; it will be the worst ever since independence [from Britain in 1980]” said Bulawayo resident Buhlebenkosi Sibanda, 46.

“There is no Christmas to talk of this year – there are no goods in the shops, cash is not available at the banks and people are dying of cholera in their hundreds, and while this is happening President [Robert] Mugabe and MDC [Movement for Democratic Change] leader Morgan Tsvangirai are failing to reach an agreement in forming a government. What they are doing to us is a crime against humanity,” she said.


Max Mnkandla, a political commentator, said the priorities of Zimbabweans were the basics of survival. “Zimbabweans do not have the time to think about Christmas. They are worried about what to eat for that day, and they are also worried about where money for school fees for their children will come from. Most people are mindful of the troubles ahead,” he said.

“Things are difficult for everyone, and people are all aware that they are in this quandary because of the country’s politics – but this year’s Christmas will be the worst in living memory,” Mnkandla told IRIN.

Some, however, refuse to be thwarted in their quest to celebrate Christmas:

Michael Nyathi, 38, refuses to be bowed by the current state of affairs. “Despite the problems we are facing in the country, I will celebrate Christmas with my family. I will cross the border to Botswana and buy my family goodies for Christmas,” he said.

“We should keep the spirit of Christmas alive for future generations. I have two small children and I want them to appreciate the importance of the day, so we will have a meal and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.”

Read it all here

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