BY EVERSON MUSHAVA
ZANU PF yesterday wished all Zimbabweans a merry Christmas and prosperous New Year, urging motorists to respect the sanctity of life and drive carefully during the festive holidays.
Simon Khaya Moyo, the spokesperson of the ruling party, said Zimbabwe was one family and people should learn to be merry together.
“We wish all the people a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year, and I am saying all Zimbabweans. This is not about Zanu PF, but the nation. Let it be a central message to everybody that we say to all, have a merry Christmas,” Moyo said.
“People must love each other. They must respect each other. They must merry together as a Zimbabwe family and avoid mixing personal issues with the greater good of what Christmas means to everybody.”
Zimbabwe is experiencing its worst economic crisis in a decade characterised by diminished buying power due to hyperinflation, collapsing health care and education systems, shortages of critical commodities such as fuel, electricity and maize meal, among others.
Most people have blamed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ruling party for the economic crisis that has denied them merry-making this festive season.
Many have failed to travel to various destinations for Christmas after failing to access cash.
The prohibitive fuel and transport costs also stood in the way of Zimbabweans, who usually spend the festive season at their rural homes.
“Motorists should be very careful and avoid drinking and driving. We don’t want to lose lives at all. Drivers must be mindful that they are not carrying firewood, they are carrying people. The sanctity of life must be respected,” Khaya Moyo added.
Regarding the cash crisis that has resulted in long queues at banks, Khaya Moyo said he had hoped that the people responsible for monies, the financial institutions, Finance ministry and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe would work on some measures to address these challenges.
“The issue of money is not a party matter; it affects everybody, irrespective of the party one belongs to. It is a national matter,” the former Energy minister said.
But leader of opposition Transform Zimbabwe, Jacob Ngarivhume, said Christmas has lost its lustre due to poor governance by Zanu PF.
“The traditional jostling and bustling festive atmosphere has been stolen from most Zimbabweans. Many have failed to travel to see relatives and friends during this Christmas period due to a myriad of reasons such as lack of fuel, lack of money to spare and lack of cash at the banks,” Ngarivhume said.
“Traditionally, the Christmas period has been associated with receiving, giving and sharing among relatives, friends, church mates and workmates, a period of thanksgivings. This has all been stolen by government austerity measures which have driven everyone, except the well-connected, into abject poverty! The Zimbabwean spirit of Christmas has been lost in this maze of socio-economic challenges.
“The year has been very brutal as the government austerity measures took their toll on many people. Salary increments have not caught up with price increases of commodities. The economy remained in the informal sector with most service providers completely ignoring the government’s call to outlaw the use of foreign currency for local trading.
“Nothing else, but the grace of God has brought us to the end of 2019 as a nation. Each passing day came with a new heavy load upon our shoulders.”