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The Grinch that Stole Zimbabwe’s Christmas

This year, Christmas cheer will be missing from the hearts of many Zimbabweans who will have to make do with reminiscing about previous festive seasons instead. Their country is in the grip of an economic crisis as high inflation, low disposable income, compressed wages, and general economic hardships take their toll. The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions says the country’s unemployment rate stands at a towering 90 percent as people resort to informal and casual jobs for some form of income. The government claims the real figure is much lower, taking into account the informal employment. Zimbabwe’s crisis began last year when the country entered hyperinflation territory and stands at its peak now with inflation above 400 percent, the Zimbabwe dollar at its weakest and salaries depressed. Disposable incomes are tighter than before, forcing Zimbabweans to forego festivities this year, and affecting the businesses who usually look forward to Christmas as the best time of the year.