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Despite Fuel-Price Drop, Zimbabweans Spending Holidays At Home

Gasoline prices have fallen as much as 40% recently in Zimbabwe to some Z$15,000 to Z$20,000 a liter from around Z$25,000 a liter not long ago.

Economists said this reflected a strengthened Zimbabwe dollar - the local currency has rallied form Z$20,000 to the U.S. dollar to around Z$16,000 per greenback.

But Zimbabwe Economics Society President Lovemore Kadenge told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the decline in petrol prices probably won’t be lasting, because the currency factor reflects an Easter influx of tourists.

Despite somewhat lower fuel prices, traveling remains an expensive proposition for Zimbabweans. Many had to forego their customary Easter trips to visit relatives in the countryside as rural transport operators doubled fares citing scarce fuel supplies.

Harare's Mbare bus terminal was quiet Friday with touts jostling for rare commuters. One operator said he had yet to find the cheaper fuel said to be on the market. Travelers meanwhile thronged to railways seeking lower fares.

Taurai Nasho of Chinhoyi told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that he would be traveling alone to visit relatives in Kenzamba, Mashonaland West, because he cannot afford the bus fare for his entire family of five.

Gweru correspondent Taurai Shava reported that tough times have made the Easter break a weekend like any other rather than a time for leisure and celebration.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...