Cyclone Idai: Mnangagwa coming home as deaths hit 31

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By Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has cut short his trip to the United Arab Emirates, in order to deal with the effects of cyclone Idai that has devastated parts of the country’s eastern province of Manicaland, bordering neighbouring Mozambique.

According to the Ministry of Information, Mnangagwa has included into his schedule a plea for assistance to alleviate the suffering of those affected by the weather phenomenon.

“HE President Mnangagwa has shortened his visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to make sure he is involved directly with the national response by way of relief to victims of cyclone Idai. HE has incorporated in his schedule a plea for assistance for cyclone victims,” the Ministry said in a short statement on its Twitter account.

It was not immediately clear how long Mnangagwa had planned to stay in the Middle East.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has had to cut short his trip to the UAE to attend to a devastating cyclone at home

Authorities meanwhile announced the death toll had risen from 28 to 31 overnight with over 100 people still unaccounted for. Roads and bridges have been swept away with weather watchers indicating more is to come. The President in a statement issued by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has declared a State of disaster areas affected by the adverse weather conditions.

Mnangagwa left the country on Saturday as news filtered through that the country would bear the brunt of the cyclone that had already laid waste most parts of southern Mozambique. It is the second time this year that Mnangagwa has had to cut a trip abroad after his four nation tour to EuroAsia in January was cut short by violent protests triggered by a 150% fuel price hike that had a domino effect on goods and services across the economy.

Government deployed the military to quell the disturbances in an operation in which live ammunition was used leaving at least 17 people dead and dozens with gunshot wounds. However government has denied responsibility instead claiming protestors had guns with some having been stolen from police stations overrun by the activists.

More details to follow…