BY Everson Mushava/Tapiwa Zivira
President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday said he was inundated by messages from various friendly countries offering assistance to Cyclone Idai-ravaged areas where nearly 100 confirmed deaths have been recorded, while hundreds more are feared dead.
Mnangagwa told victims of cyclone Idai at Kopa in Chipinge yesterday that millions of dollars’ worth of humanitarian assistance was coming their way from friendly countries.
“We had gone out of the country building relations with other States. That is what we do as government, to build relations with other States. This happened when we were in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where I was invited by Prince Mohammed. I heard that death had befallen you and as a leader, I should come back to be with you so that even you will realise that you have a government,” Mnangagwa said.
“There are friendly countries where I had gone. They are sending planeloads of relief supplies.”
The UAE provided $4,9m in emergency aid, while other countries like Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Tanzania have also chipped in with humanitarian assistance.
Mnangagwa promised government will rebuild damaged infrastructure, including roads.
He said if roads were still in good shape, heavy trucks could be ferrying food to the people, but government was resorting to the use of helicopters.
“We came here to see how we can solve your problems. It’s tough to know that today you can no longer see the people you were with. Where are they? We haven’t seen their bodies. I am told some have not been found. It would have been better if you saw their bodies and buried them,” Mnangagwa said.
Earlier, Mnangagwa visited Chimanimani, the epicentre of the cyclone where he also promised that people would not die of hunger.
“Many of our people have died. When we are faced with a tragedy like this, we wish that we all come together and unite and support each other as one family,” he said.