PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s government has once again appealed to domestic, international and multi-lateral donors for $200 million to assist stricken flood victims.
BY MUNESU NYAKUDYA
More than 100 000 villagers in most of the country’s southern districts from the east to west were affected by Cyclone Dineo induced floods.
Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko told donor organisations’ representatives and stakeholders at an official domestic and international appeal meeting for humanitarian assistance that aid was most required in the areas of human settlements, water and sanitation, education, health and infrastructure, road network and dams.
“Based on these needy sectors, the government of Zimbabwe requires a total of $188 705 294 for providing humanitarian assistance in the short to medium term also taking into account sustainable measures which will assist in early recovery of affected communities with regards to relocation and establishment of related social amenities as applicable, and restoration of livelihoods in general,” Mphoko said.
“The requirements are broken down as follows: Relocation and housing programme $4 400 000, schools $8 658 077, roads infrastructure$ 101 111 017, potable water supply $5 000 000, dams and boreholes $67 000 000, food monitoring equipment $1 200 000, and health $1 336 200.”
Mugabe, currently in Mauritius after a jaunt to Lesotho (Sadc), Ghana (independence celebrations) and Singapore for medical check-ups, has courted controversy by flying non-stop on chartered flights blowing millions in the process while ordinary Zimbabweans bear the brunt of the country’s humanitarian disaster.
The Zanu PF leader has also been criticised for reportedly donating “Zapnacks” to desperate villagers instead of food and clothing, but his spokesperson George Charamba has flatly rejected claims the 93-year-old gave anything.
Mugabe also hosted a multi-million-dollar birthday bash at the end of February a few hundred kilometres from Tsholotsho in Matabeleland North, one of the most affected areas.
Mphoko said the floods resulted in the loss of a cumulative 246 human lives due to lightning, drowning and landslides, and more than 100 people injured.
The VP added that more than 1 985 people were left homeless and approximately 2 579 homesteads were damaged to varying degrees and extensive damage was also caused to infrastructure, namely roads, bridges, schools, health institutions and dams.
According to Mphoko, areas most affected include Matabeleland North (Tsholotsho, Lupane, Nkayi, Binga, Umguza and Hwange Urban), Matabeleland South (Matobo, Umzingwane, Bulilima, Insiza, Beitbridge and Gwanda), Midlands (Mberengwa, Gokwe North and South, Masvingo (Chivi, Mwenezi, Chiredzi, Masvingo and Bikita), Mashonaland West (Kariba, Zvimba and Hurungwe), Manicaland (Mutare Rural, Mutasa , Buhera, Chipinge and Chimanimani), Mashonaland Central (Guruve and Mt Darwin), Chitungwiza, Mabvuku, Epworth, Waterfalls, Hopley and Budiriro in Harare Metropolitan province.
The worst-affected district was Tsholotsho, where a total of 859 people were left homeless and were currently in a transit camp while an additional 100 households remain at risk. Mugabe’s government has consistently accused donor organisations of driving a regime change agenda. However, the Zanu PF leader had always looked up to the same groups for assistance in times of trouble. Early this month, the European Union reacted angrily to claims by Charamba that its financial assistance to a number of local human rights organisations was part of the West’s plan to effect regime change in Zimbabwe.