Ellen Chasokela Herald Reporter
Industry and Commerce Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu has urged Government and the private sector to work together and rehabilitate businesses that were destroyed by Cyclone Idai in Manicaland. The cyclone destroyed infrastructure, livelihoods, livestock, forestry and wildlife. In most areas, repairs and maintenance are no longer possible and there is need for complete reconstruction.
A management team comprising experts to oversee the reconstruction of Chimanimani and other affected areas is being put in place.
“The reality is that most business centres were washed away by Cyclone Idai and people’s sources of income were wiped away in the process,” said Minister Ndlovu. “While the exercise to assess the actual loss is in process, I believe there is need for us all —Government and the private sector — to come together and help to rebuild businesses in the affected areas, so that livelihoods are speedily restored.”
Minister Ndlovu said it was important to continue upholding business ethics in times of disaster.
“We unfortunately need to make this call against the tendency by some insensitive people among us who want to profiteer at the expense of the very people that we are setting out to serve and save,” he said.
“Let me also highlight that Government, in conjunction with development partners, the corporate world, churches and individuals, has worked tirelessly to restore normalcy in the affected areas.
“Government has itself availed funding in excess of RTGS$100 million in addition to other interventions, and this should come in handy in rehabilitation work.
“As you may be well aware, the call to help is ongoing and assistance is still required because of the magnitude of the devastation. But I wish, on behalf of Government, to thank all those who have made contributions towards helping our people.”
Minister Ndlovu said Cyclone Idai provided concrete evidence that climate change and its effects were real.
“While the cyclone’s movements were monitored and experts advised of its impending drift into Zimbabwe, we were nevertheless caught not adequately prepared for the kind of magnitude we experienced,” he said.
“Coming on the back of the El Nino weather phenomenon and the resultant poor harvests that it caused this agricultural season, this presented us with added challenges which will affect the whole country, requiring our collective efforts to proactively deal with such alterations in our weather patterns.
“I am sure we have all learnt and are learning valuable lessons from all this, but am at the same time encouraged by President Mnangagwa’s assurance that no one will go hungry, as Government is putting the necessary measures to ensure adequate grain supply.”