President Mnangagwa yesterday met captains of industry at State House in Harare where he made a passionate appeal for them to assist in the reconstruction of infrastructure in communities that were ravaged by Cyclone Idai.
He said in times like these, it was important for Zimbabweans to rise above political differences and assist those affected.
His appeal received a favourable response from corporates that pledged to reconstruct infrastructure, including schools, roads, bridges and clinics, among others.
President Mnangagwa said Government will not tolerate anyone who would want to take advantage of the unfortunate incident to abuse the girl child and women.
In his address, President Mnangagwa said: “I appeal to you and with your own influence, networking and connections to rise and support the reconstruction of the lives of these communities.
“I encourage you as captains of industry, churches and so on to adopt not only one but more schools to build, classrooms, water-system toilets. If we don’t do this, the aftermath of this destruction will see us being visited by diseases like cholera, typhoid and so on.
“These things like cholera do not know whether you are a chief executive or you are a gardener. For as long as you are human, you are all in danger. Adopt a bridge, a school, a clinic and generations to come will say my company had a hand in restoration of life in those areas.
“It is possible that this incident may come again. It is my view that in incidents of this nature, we must put our quarrels aside and together do our best to assist.
“This is why I went there last week with some 17 of my other presidents. There was no occasion in this country where 18 or 19 presidents were together (in agreement). I think this was great for this country.
“We were able to rise above petty differences to share and support each other in dealing with this grief. The areas of concern are articulated in the appeal book.”
President Mnangagwa hailed Zimbabweans and foreign partners that responded immediately after the cyclone to assist the affected people.
He said companies had constructed detours making the affected areas accessible for distribution of food and other amenities.
“Both as a Government and as a nation, I recognised the unprecedented loss of life as a result of this visitation by this cyclone,” he said.
“As President, I express my deep gratitude to the people of Zimbabwe for their immediate response in terms of donations which they made. Some, as members of the corporate world, others as single well-wishers, associations, churches and families across the country. I wish to inform you that this action, compassion from our people, continues to this day. Our people, our companies have come to assist Government to repair the damaged infrastructure in order to facilitate the delivery and access to make sure that relief and other provisions reach the communities affected by the cyclone such as water, electricity and in some areas resuscitation of commutation which has been destroyed.”
He said Government was committed to ensure that immediate and early recovery efforts to save life through provision of temporal shelter and food stuffs among others, the basic social needs of a family to the affected communities was delivered.
He said although the country received overwhelming support from its foreign partners, it was important for Zimbabweans to stand up to the challenge.
“It is my belief that we should rise to the occasion as a people, as a Government, as the private sector to restore the lives of these communities who have been affected,” he said.
“With your support, the rehabilitation and construction of critical infrastructure which include, roads, boreholes, schools and bridges will be expedited.
“When we discussed this, I said I had an idea. I felt we should appeal to the private sector – of course the private sector has already put their hand but in more specific money. I said let us ask captains of industry so we discuss with them where possible where you chose a bridge, a school, a clinic, a borehole, a road-we may name that bridge, that school after your company or the chief executive of the company as sweetener. But there are instances where the local names remain critically important.”
Yesterday’s meeting was also attended by the two Vice Presidents Dr Constantino Chiwenga and Cde Kembo Mohadi and several captains of industry.
Angel of Hope Foundation donated an ambulance to be used in the cyclone hit areas before the commencement of yesterday’s proceedings.