Miserable new year for most

HARARE - As the whole world was celebrating Christmas Glen View residents were in a world of their own after a month-long electricity black-out.

It is believed the power cut in November transpired after Zimbabwe National Water Authority workers damaged Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority cables while repairing a sewer pipe.

Since then, residents have suffered, following the row between ZESA, who admitted early last year that it was broke, and ZINWA about who should replace the cables.

The heavy rains since late October have made life even more difficult. Some have been forced to make fires on their well-polished verandahs, while others like Simbarashe Tirivangani (not his real name), a Glen View 8 bachelor, living in a two-roomed house, brought his fire inside.

“I have all my property in one room, the other one is empty, that’s where l open all the windows and light my fire. I have no choice since its always raining,” Tirivangani said.

As much as they wished to join the rest of the world in merry-making on the night of the count-down to the New Year, it was not possible for most Zimbabweans.

The cash crisis that hit the country early November got the better of citizens who could not access their salaries from the banks.

“It was so frustrating having to wait for long queues the whole day at the bank only to be given a ridiculous amount not even enough for my transport back home, ” fumed 27-year-old Yeukai Chemhere.

For the few others who had cash to celebrate the New Year, all was not rosy as they complained, “the prices of beer were unbearable.”

“We always host a small reunion gathering where we enjoy our beer and do all the crazy stuff every New Year’s Eve, but this Year was different. The beer was so expensive, we didn’t even manage to get ourselves drunk by midnight and we were even sober in the morning,” Tirivangani recalled.

Shortages of basic food-stuffs in the supermarkets and transport problem made it more difficult for those who prefer travelling to the rural areas to spend their holidays away from the country’s stressful city life.

Zimbabweans will have their hopes for a better future pinned on free and fair elections, come March. – Gracey Chirumanzu

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