Some Harare residents have advised Zimbabwean parents to spend wisely during this festive season, remembering expenses like school fees and rent as they try to provide for children at Christmas.
Speaking to several people in the capital, everyone on Wednesday emphasised the need for parents to budget properly and avoid impulse buying.
Chisipite resident, who hails from Chimanimani, Mrs Doreen Shumba, warns mothers in particular to plan ahead and avoid unnecessary spending.
Shumba said it would be embarrassing to have a child unable to go to school on time because she didn’t plan her spending well.
Sixth Form student, Cynthia Mazivisa, agrees that it is frustrating to delay going to school when parents cannot provide school fees due to bad planning.
The 18 year-old attends boarding school in the Midlands Province. She told VOA Studio 7 that she would rather sacrifice the short-term joys of the festive season than miss school.
She also reminded parents to focus more on the long-term by investing in their children’s education and make school fees payments in advance before schools reopen.
Mhandara resident Martin Changamire agreed, urging parents - fathers in particular - to resist pressure to spend their money on unnecessary items.
Changamire said parents face tough times and cannot afford luxuries like they may have been able to afford in years past.
He encouraged parents to remember that the festive season is only once a year, but food, school fees, and other essentials require regular investment.
Many people report that their spending this festive season was subdued due to lack of disposable income. Few workers received year-end bonuses.
As we bring you more of your hopes and aspirations for 2013, as well as reflections on 2012, one key refrain we hear is that a lot of hopes are pinned on next year’s elections.
Villager Chengetai Samuriwo hails from Magunje in Hurungwe. Samuriwo said he was beaten last week by soldiers with the Magunje infantry battalion.
He is not optimistic about next year in terms of politics as he fears that there could be violence leading to the loss of more lives and property.
Samuriwo narrated how soldiers came and beat patrons in several drinking establishments last week, saying the incidents are a preview of what he believes will take place next year as elections approach.
Hurungwe businessperson, Tonderai Kusemamuriwo, agrees, saying the deployment of soldiers throughout Mashonaland west is a bad sign.
Though many fear what 2013 may bring politically, Mudzimu villager Hurungwe Benson is optimistic about the revival of the economy, though he says politics might impact that, too.
Some local villagers also predict that political party members will not see much violence on election day itself, but thinks intimidation of potential voters will happen now.
A Makonde villager who asked to be identified as Tongai Nyikayaramba said there may be light at the end of the tunnel as political party leaders are calling for peace as the country nears elections.
Chinhoyi Member of Parliament, Stewart Garadhi, said political parties should implement the security reforms outlined in the global political agreement before elections.
Zimbabwe is among several countries that have seen violent elections in Africa. The country has held several violence-marred elections since independence in 1980.