At around 1400 hours on Christmas day, people from all walks of life were starting to gather at Mereki Shopping Centre in Warren Park D, Harare.
Mereki, which has a semi-rural setting, presents itself as an alternative for some who did not manage to travel to the rural areas for Christmas.
Pindula News visited the shopping centre and observed chicken, beef, pork and sausages on lit braai stands reminding of the burnt offerings in the Biblical eras that were usually offered during festive seasons.
Zimbabwe is a largely Christian society and Christmas day influences almost everything including businesses.
Unlike in previous years, shops were fully-packed with groceries.
Some people who spoke to this reporter said this year’s Christmas day was different in that many people do not have money to buy groceries. Said one respondent:
We have had difficulties throughout the year due to COVID-19. The lockdowns killed our businesses.
The Zimbabwean economy is largely made up of the informal sector. Some of them are not yet registered, therefore, operating during COVID-19-induced lockdowns was not feasible.
Another respondent, a teenage boy who was carrying a speaker, said Christmas day was a unique day. He said:
We meet and reunite with our friends, that’s all that matters. After a prolonged school term, I can’t think of anything else that can make me refresh besides meeting with colleagues and catching up.
He said before complaining that this reporter was delaying him adding that the speaker was heavy.
This reporter also saw garbage piling once again at undesignated sites. These sites have been mushrooming around the town as residents accused Harare City Council of failing or neglecting to collect.