A MONTH after President Robert Mugabe blew an estimated $2 million on his 93rd birthday party, government says it will, this Monday, make a second appeal for funds to help Zimbabweans left homeless by floods ravaging the southern parts of the country.
Local Government Minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, said the government would continue to seek for more assistance as most families are sleeping in tents with neither food nor clean water.
This comes after government appealed for funding from the UN following the floods and after Mugabe flew to Ghana just hours after he had returned from a “medical trip” in Singapore.
In response to criticism then, Mugabe’s spokesman described his boss’s expenses as “legitimate spending”, claiming that Zimbabwe had to accept that diplomacy was costly. In another trip sure to cost millions, Mugabe left for Swaziland on Friday to attend an Extra-Ordinary Summit of SADC heads of states.
But a day before his departure, Kasukuwere said government was in need of more financial assistance to help the flood victims.
“Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko will appeal for more help this coming Monday as victims are struggling to survive without food and clean water as malaria outbreak has also been reported in some parts of the low veld,” Kasukuwere said.
He said this during a handover ceremony of food stuffs and malaria kits donated by Zimplats Thursday.
Kasukuwere, whose ministry houses the Civil Protection Unit (CPU), received 40 tonnes of sugar beans, peanut butter, five by 1000 water tanks and malaria drugs (lewisite) all worth US$60, 000.
The minister said a dinner dance has also been planned by the Disaster Management team to raise more funds for the victims and for the urgent re-construction of bridges, roads and schools.
Seventy-four schools and five clinics were affected by Cyclone Dineo which saw excessive rains throughout the country.
“There is a lot of construction expected for the washed away bridges and roads, clinics and schools in most parts of the areas affected especially in the low veld,” Kasukuwere said.
Speaking at the same event, Mines minister Walter Chidhakwa said many individuals and companies including Zimplats have been touched by the loss of life, destruction of property, roads and bridges in the cyclone hit areas.
“There is nothing more important than family members supporting each other before an external person does so. Foreign support is much more likely to come if locals make initiatives like this one by Zimplats,” Chidhakwa said.
Zimplats’ Head Corporate Affairs Busisiwe Chindove said the donation was a result of a meeting between her mining company and officials from the CPU.
“We lost many lives because of these floods and in our discussions with the Civil Unit Protection Unit (CPU) we found out that many of the victims are in dire need of food and clean water,” Chindove highlighted.
Around 889 families in Tsholotsho only and almost half a million people were affected by the rains this year as government has been castigated by some local analysts for failure to prepare adequately for such disasters.