Innocent Ruwende and Tanaka Vunganayi
China yesterday handed over $1 million to Government in humanitarian assistance following floods that hit the country last month, while Namibia chipped in with a consignment of 1,2 million canned horse mackerel fish and medicines.
The Red Cross Society of China also donated $50 000, while the Chinese Community in Zimbabwe and the embassy contributed a further $10 000.
Speaking at the handover ceremony of the donations, Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Huang Ping said his country was Zimbabwe’s all-weather friend and was ready to render support in times of need.
“Our friendship dates back to the time of the liberation struggle and in all those years we have developed the relationship into an all-weather friendship,” he said.
“I think the most important thing is to render help in times of need. Good friends render help in times of need.
“Last year, when Zimbabwe suffered drought, my Government reacted by sending 20 000 tonnes of rice and 10 000 tonnes of fertiliser to empower Zimbabwe’s agriculture to develop.”
Namibia Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ms Balbina Daes Pienaar said Zimbabweans and Namibians were brothers.
“As a sister nation, Namibia has heard the plea of Zimbabwe for humanitarian assistance in empathy,” she said.
“We felt it equally and duty bound to take action because actions speak louder than words.
“Namibia has not only made a pledge, but arrived to deliver a consignment of 1,2 million canned horse mackerel fish. The consignment was transported all the way from our port City Walvis Bay to the Sunshine City of Harare in 14 trucks that travelled over 2 000 kilometres via the Trans Kalahari Highway through Plumtree Border Post.”
Acting Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Sydney Sekeramayi expressed gratitude to China and Namibia for heeding Zimbabwe’s plea for assistance.
“Indeed, many lives were lost and damage has been widespread,” he said. “It is assistance which is going to be put to good use by the people who were heavily affected by the floods and (Chinese) ambassador, I want to assure you that the money that you have donated will be put to good use,” he said.
“We are so grateful to the Namibians for exploiting their natural resource to the benefit of the people of Zimbabwe.
“During these times, food and medicines are in short supply. The magnanimous gesture is an embodiment of the good neighbourliness and a reflection of our unique African tradition of Ubuntu.”
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, who attended the function although he is understood to be on leave, said: “It is with heartfelt gratitude that I note that the Namibian Government continues to extend a helping hand in our times of need.
“Following the disaster at Tokwe-Mukosi, we received three helicopters from Namibia to relocate the families that had been affected by the floods.
“Today, the Namibian government has once again exhibited the same kind gesture.
“China also assisted with $500 000 after realising the magnitude of disaster at Tokwe Mukosi.”