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GOOD Friday marks the beginning of a long holiday, since it is a combination of the Easter celebrations observed by Christians the world over, and the 37th Independence celebrations on April 18.
In fact the months of April and May have the highest number of public holiday hours than any other time in the year, for in May we also join the international community in commemorating International Workers’ Day, and on May 25 it will be Africa Day.
The holidays coincide with the normal school holidays, giving parents an opportunity to have quality time with their children before schools reopen on May 9.
That the Easter holidays merge with the Independence celebrations is noteworthy.
Easter is the most important event in the Christian calendar since it encapsulates the death and triumphal resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is also an embodiment of the love and sacrifice by Christ for the salvation of mankind.
The attainment of Independence and national sovereignty also came from the sacrifices of thousands of young men and women, who gave up all in order to fight colonialism. It was a mark of love for one’s country.
Apart from the festivities, people are spoilt for choice in terms of what to do, for holidays are a time to slow down, take it easy and recharge.
It is also a time to visit loved ones and do things that one would not normally have time to do.
As per tradition, many people will be travelling to different parts of the country and beyond. If events from previous holidays are anything to go by, it is very worrisome that there is a marked increase in road fatalities due to a number of reasons, most of which are a result of human error.
Many lives have been lost as some people drive under the influence of alcohol, speeding, and use unroadworthy and defective vehicles.
A large percentage of cars on our roads are driven by people who either do not have drivers’ licences, and if they have, they were corruptly issued.
Use of mobile phones by drivers has also become the latest costly menace on our roads. We hope that this holiday will be an exception. Drivers know the state of our roads, and the campaigns by a number of stakeholders — the Zimbabwe Republic Police Traffic Branch in conjunction with Say No to Accidents Zimbabwe, and the Passenger Association of Zimbabwe are quite commendable.
Their mantra is responsibility and safety on the roads through the slogans: “Speed thrills, but kills”, and “Drive with reason this holiday season”.
These should sober some reckless drivers out there who believe that the road is meant for them alone.
We also hope that as usual, the police will be out in full force, enforcing the law.
Although commuter omnibus drivers have been blamed for most of the road accidents, the truth is that if we analyse statistics and causes of road fatalities, we will see that there are more bad drivers on our roads, than in the past.
But the spirit of the holiday remains. It is up to each and every individual to make it productive and enjoyable. This is notwithstanding the liquidity challenges.