THE country is already in the festive mood. It is clear from the glitters, the lights and the colour that adorn private and public spaces. The people are excited. Rains are falling in decent amounts as well.
Business is getting brisker across the board. We acknowledge that the economy remains challenged but at the same time must note that it is self-evidently true that there has been significant improvement this year. Industrial capacity utilisation is improving, exports are increasing in both volumes and value. With the economy improving, most employers have been able to pay their workers their December salaries and the 13th cheque.
Those that haven’t should do so this week ahead of the big day on Sunday. The roads will be at their busiest this week as people travel to various holiday destinations, their rural homes and visiting friends and relatives. The parade from South Africa is already rolling into Bulawayo, Matabeleland South, Masvingo and the Midlands.
So, yes, the air is as festive as it must be at this time of the year.
However, let us not allow that excitement to spoil the moment, and the future, for us. Let us enjoy ourselves responsibly.
Drinks flow at their most copious during the Christmas and New Year holidays. Those of us who take the so-called wise waters must do so moderately as drinking excessively can result in many other unintended situations — public fights, road accidents, crime and family tensions and so on. They must not drink as if there will be no more drinks tomorrow. They will still be there, even better ones.
Those who will be driving must take it easy —no speeding, no drinking while on the wheel and no to distractingly loud music. This is a message to private motorists as well as public service drivers. We have had too many fatal road crashes already this year, some caused by reckless driving so let us not add more just because we are excited to celebrate Christmas and the New Year.
As we celebrate, the less disciplined tend to spend more than they should. They buy impulsively — food, clothes, and drinks and so on. They go on long journeys that are unnecessary. They show off; yes, wanting to pretend that they have it all. Such behaviour is dangerous and counter-productive so we discourage it. Spending to budget is what we must all do all the time. This year’s festive season is not the first one, and is not the last. There will be many more and there have been countless before.
On January 9, schools will open and the kids must be in class, attired appropriately and with all learning requirements.
However, for them to be in class with all they need, parents should have paid the full school fees, bought proper uniforms, books and the like. Therefore, as we celebrate the birth of Christ on Sunday and welcome the New Year a week later, it is vital for us not forget school fees will have to be paid ahead of or on January 9.
Police are out in full force to enforce the law over the holiday season, Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga told us on Friday. Indeed, we are seeing officers all over the place — on their service bicycles and cars, at road blocks as well as on foot patrols. We commend Comm-Gen Matanga and his team for deploying appropriately. This must engender the public law and order that is necessary at this time of the year.
That, too, should reduce the incidence of crime as no one can break the law in the presence of police. We are sure that with such a heavy police presence nationally, citizens who will misbehave, will be easily held to account.
So, all of us must be thankful to God to be here at this time but responsible driving, responsible drinking, responsible partying, responsible spending and respecting the law must be the watchwords over the next two weeks and beyond.
Article Source: The Chronicle