Lloyd Gumbo, Harare Bureau
President Mugabe has singled out two ministers for being pro-active and working hard to reduce the impact of a tropical storm, which affected several parts of the country about two months ago.
The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces said while the country’s agricultural programmes benefited from the rains, they also left a trail of destruction in some parts of the country.
Addressing the 105th Ordinary Session of the Zanu-PF Central Committee in Harare on Friday, President Mugabe hailed Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri for warning people about the dangers of the floods and Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Priscah Mupfumira for spearheading mobilisation of resources to help affected communities.
He said the party was expected to pay particular attention to reports from provinces that were most affected by the tropical storm.
“Our Minister of Environment and her group were wonderful performers, alerting people and working together with Ministry of Labour for assistance,” said President Mugabe.
“They distinguished themselves very much. We were quick as Government in moving to places that were affected in order to assuage the challenges that were faced by families that are still displaced from unfortunate events where a number of people died.”
President Mugabe said the rains brought both fortunes and misfortune.
He said the country was expected to record high yields, thanks to the rains, though the country had at the same time suffered when bridges were swept away and other infrastructure such as water facilities were destroyed.
Some villagers were marooned, for instance in Masvingo, Midlands and Matabeleland South.
“I am glad that our security service rendered its service, going with helicopters to try and uplift the people from points of danger, we thank them,” said President Mugabe.
“We thank God for the heavy rains. Small rivers that had gone dry were full, our dams that had also gone dry in some places or too low are now spilling.
“So, there is lots of water, water, water everywhere now. So, it’s another phase of our Command Agriculture. I do hope that we will do the same during the dry season as we did during the wet season.”
The Government recently extended invitations to humanitarian organisations and the international community to help in the rebuilding of destroyed infrastructure and provision of humanitarian assistance to affected communities.
It is estimated that refurbishment of destroyed infrastructure and humanitarian assistance will chew hundreds of millions of dollars.
The United Nations office in Zimbabwe and some non-governmental organisations have already indicated their willingness to join hands with Government in helping affected communities.