Thursday, April 11, 2019

ED begs corporate world, admits govt is overwhelmed by Cyclone Idai devastation

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The government has appealed to the corporate world to adopt infrastructure to rehabilitate, following the massive destruction caused by tropical Cyclone Idai in some parts of the country, the worst affected being Chimanimani and Chipinge.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa made the appeal this morning at the State House where he engaged the corporate world regarding restoration of infrastructure destroyed by the cyclone in affected areas.
“This is why I called you…that as industry and commerce what can we do? My job with my colleagues in government is to tell you the challenges and perhaps you can see where you can come in….so that the affected people do not feel neglected or isolated…,” said President Mnangagwa.

The President revealed that the country has received material support from SADC and beyond SADC, but highlighted that it is a Zimbabwean challenge which “we must rise up to"

“As Zimbabweans we must stand up to this challenge…..it is my belief that we should rise to the occasion as a people and as the private sector,” he said.
He expressed gratitude to the people of Zimbabwe for their immediate response to providing assistance to affected areas, adding that government is committed to ensure lives are saved through provision of daily needs.

He expressed gratitude to the people of Zimbabwe for their immediate response to providing assistance to affected areas, adding that government is committed to ensure lives are saved through provision of daily needs.

“I wish to inform you that this act of compassion continues…. Our people, our companies have come to assist government to make sure relief and other provisions reach the affected – food, communication infrastructure, roads…,” President Mnangagwa said. President Mnangagwa noted the ministerial committee had proposed that schools infrastructure be prioritised, but says all damaged infrastructure is critical. “….but am sure roads are important too, for communication and trade, boreholes also critical, bridges are important to cross rivers – Chimanimani and Chipinge has so many bridges, clinics also critical…,” he said.

He urged the spirit of Ubuntu to continue, saying the survivors need everyone’s support. “Some have lost everything…you can’t expect them to build on their own. Government must do it or the private sector must chip in. The people must be relocated to suitable areas….,” said the President.

He warned would-be abusers of the affected people in whatever way, including diverting relief aid meant for the survivors.

“Those who want to abuse the vulnerable will find the hand of the state descending very hard on them,” said President Mnangagwa.

President Mnangagwa commended presidential candidates (who contested last year’s harmonise elections) who joined hands with him and recently visited the affected areas to appreciate the job at hand.

He said the political parties leaders were “able to rise above petty political differences”. Turning to disaster preparedness, the President said there is need for education and awareness programmes to minimise damage and loss of lives in future.

President Mnangagwa said the transitional stabilisation programme requires the private sector to drive development and modernising the economy, with the government creating an enabling environment.

Some of the corporate organisations that spoke at the meeting include the Premier Soccer League represented by its chairman Farai Jere who announced that the topflight league is adopting Chimanimani High School to rehabilitate infrastructure damaged by Cyclone Idai. Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe Chairman Tafadzwa Musarara said his organisation pledges to repair all schools damaged in Mutare District.

Other corporates pledged various intervention measures meant to ease the burden facing the cyclone survivors.