Zimbabweans might well feel battered and bruised from years of political, social and economic turmoil and crisis, but this holiday season many are saying this will be best Christmas they have had in many a year.
Observers note that while the power-sharing national unity government set up in February remains politically shaky, Zimbabweans today have more food on the table and better access to health and other critical social services.
For a look at the mood in the country, VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere turned to Lovemore Matombo, president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, the country's main labor confederation, and Sidney Chisi, spokesman for the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, for their take on Christmas 2009.
Matombo says this Christmas is shaping up much better than most in recent memory – but Zimbabwean incomes remain far too low with ordinary workers earning US$150 a month compared with a US$500 poverty line.
Meanwhile, residents of rural Doradombo region of Manicaland province told VOA Studio 7 correspondent Loirdham Moyo that they’re looking forward to an enjoyable festive season to wrap up what some describe as a dismal year.