Story by Bruce Chahwanda
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has launched a resource mobilisation initiative for the people of Malawi after the devastating Tropical Cyclone Freddy left a trail of destruction in the Southern African country.
President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe stands with the people of Malawi during the trying and challenging times.
“On behalf of the people and government of Zimbabwe, and indeed on my own behalf, I express my deepest commiseration to His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Malawi, Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, the bereaved families and the country at large, on account of the negative impact of Tropical Cyclone Freddy.
“Zimbabwe stands in full support of and empathises with our dear brothers and sisters in Malawi during this trying and challenging time,” President Mnangagwa said.
The President also commended the coordinated responses being undertaken towards assisting the people of Malawi.
“I want to commend the ongoing collaboration of the Department of Civil Protection of Zimbabwe, Disaster Mitigation and Management Unit of Malawi and the SADC Humanitarian Emergency Operations Centre for the successful coordinated responses realised to date.
“Equally, the gaps and attendant areas that require urgent attention are critical. These give us strategic pointers towards helping our dear brothers and sisters to build back better, faster and stronger,” said the President.
The presence of captains of industry at the meeting also gave an opportunity for the President to appeal for support.
“To augment such efforts and the desire to see the accelerated reduction of the impact of Tropical Cyclone Freddy disaster in Malawi, I take the opportunity of this gathering to appeal to you our captains of industry and all well-wishers across the country and including those in the diaspora to play a part in our collective national resource mobilisation.
“Drawing from the lessons with regards to our response to Cyclone Idai, our goal is to realise the restoration of livelihoods as well as to complement the ongoing processes to build resilience and adaptive capacities among affected communities,” he said.
The corporate world responded swiftly to the appeal by President Mnangagwa pledging various goods, ranging from food hampers, fuel, blankets, medical supplies and transport.
Two local cement-producing giants also donated 120 tonnes of cement while the President led by example after availing two 30-tonne trucks to move goods to Malawi.
The Government through ZimAid has already donated 30 000, 10kg bags of Maize meal, which are expected to arrive in Blantyre this Monday.