HARARE – Zimbabweans are going to spend yet another bleak and sad Christmas holiday due to mounting economic hardships, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai said.
This comes as many long-suffering Zimbabweans had hoped for an economic relief following change of political leadership, but the situation on the ground speaks otherwise, with prices of basic commodities rising sharply.
Most spent the greater part of yesterday in long bank queues hoping to withdraw cash.
Speaking through his spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka, Tsvangirai told the Daily News on Sunday yesterday that there is need for real transformation, saying registering to vote will, however, be the biggest Christmas present ever.
“It’s a not so merry Christmas. While president (Emmerson) Mnangagwa is making the right noise about having a free and fair election, he is talking far short on the detail and the roadmap to get there.
“Moreover, the hike in prices has ensured extended hardships for the people of Zimbabwe. We expect more detail and more substance from the president particularly on the issue of reforms. Zimbabweans are still mired in hardships and president Tsvangirai maintains that the biggest Christmas present we can give each other is to ensure that all of us are registered to vote in the next election,” Tamborinyoka said.
A short survey carried by the Daily News on Sunday yesterday showed that several people were in long bank queues waiting to get some money to travel.
Zimbabwe has been experiencing a serious cash shortage that has worsened the country’s economic situation as businesses and ordinary citizens cannot get the much-needed foreign currency.
This is also happening at a time when prices are continuously increasing, despite the exchange rate having dropped.
And people are pinning their hopes on Mnangagwa to bring the much needed change, since taking over from Mugabe last month.
Mnangagwa has been using every platform he gets to preach about changing the country’s economic fortunes, opening new business lines, promote investment, create jobs through opening industries, compensate white farmers who lost land during the fast track land reform programme and amend the Indigenisation Act.
He has also promised to embark on electoral reforms, observe property rights and the rule of law.
All these issues are what his predecessor ex-president Robert Mugabe had flaunted over the years, which had resulted in Zimbabwe being economically isolated, with drastic consequences on ordinary people’s lives.
Economic analysts have however said, Mnangagwa is striking the right cords in all his speeches, but needs to be put his words into action in order for ordinary Zimbabweans to witness a meaningful change economically.