HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Naison Makwechede rummages through piles of used clothes at a busy flea market in Zimbabwe’s capital in hopes of finding Christmas clothes for his family. This secondhand search is new terrain for the father of three, who always buys new clothes for his children this time of year in line with local holiday tradition.
“The bond note is the only new thing in my possession,” said Makwechede, referring to Zimbabwe’s latest attempt to address a spiraling currency crisis.
Most people in this once-prosperous southern African country are struggling to afford Christmas as the economy implodes.
The U.S. dollar, the main currency used since Zimbabwe abandoned its own in 2009, is in such short supply that some people sleep outside banks in the hope of withdrawing what they can.
In this predominantly Christian country, the holiday period is traditionally associated with wild merry-making, travel, family gatherings and new clothes. This year is different.
But not for everyone. The 7,000 delegates who attended the ruling ZANU-PF party’s conference last weekend took home goodies, including five kilograms (11 pounds) of rice, in a holiday bag decorated with pictures of longtime President Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace.
The political meeting brought a temporary boom to the usually sleepy town of Masvingo, where hotels and lodges were fully booked and usually empty beerhalls teemed. Informal vendors, who now make up the bulk of Zimbabwe’s adult population, said they had brisk business of several items, including condoms.
The party conference endorsed the 92-year-old Mugabe, who has led the country since its independence from white minority rule in 1980, as its candidate in the upcoming elections.
Mugabe told the delegates the economy was on the mend. But the government, which has failed to pay civil servants on time since June, indicated it will only be able to pay the military, police, prison services and health workers before Christmas.
“It is sad. Our members will not have their salaries, so they are foregoing Christmas this year,” said Sifiso Ndlovu, the chief executive of the Zimbabwe Teachers Union
IN a move that further highlights growing divisions and mistrust within Zanu PF and government, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has rejected a number of close security aides (CSA) and senior security ...
EARLY two years after the ruling ZANU-PF launched the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset), the much-celebrated economic blueprint is yet to produce any tangible results for the ordinary ...
HARARE - Former Presidential Affairs minister, Didymus Mutasa, last night released a scathing statement regarding his purported expulsion from Zanu PF, accusing President Robert Mugabe of acting unlawfully and breaching ...
The 47-year-old music mogul has decided to remove himself from the sites after explaining on his now-deleted Instagram page that he had grown tired of the “c**ning and buffooning” that exists within the hip-hop world. […]
Jennifer Lopez claims her relationship with rapper Drake is strictly professional. In a new interview, the Shades Of Blue actress avoided questions about their rumoured romance and instead, confirmed they have collaborated on a new […]
BUDAPEST – Marcelo Cake-Baly came to study in Hungary from wartorn Guinea-Bissau in 1976, and has been working as a tram driver in Budapest for over a decade despite being a trained economist. Now, at the […]
Drake has upset his fans in the UK after postponing the opening dates of his upcoming tour. The first three dates of the One Dance rapper’s 35-date trek have been unexpectedly pushed back, prompting fans […]