President Mnangagwa yesterday accepted a wide range of donations and support from Zimbabwean companies and the Chinese Embassy at a ceremony at State House, with research into the Zimbabwe Covid-19 pandemic now guaranteed.
Sakunda Holdings pledged $30 million over six months to fund university research and development.
The firm also handed over the fully equipped Arundel Hospital, renovated at a cost of $2,8 million, and will pay the 55 staff for six months. The rest of the company’s gift was 300 000 litres of fuel, and US$3,6 million of protective equipment, some still in transit from China, including face and surgical masks, face shields, googles, disposable gowns, as well as emergency ventilators, portable ventilators and ultra sound scans.
Accepting the donations, President Mnangagwa said: “On behalf of the Government and on my own behalf, I sincerely and deeply thank you for coming forward in response not really to my appeal, but it’s your own individual or collective conscience that has persuaded you to take the actions that you have taken.
“I did appeal, but if your conscience did not want to come forward to make a contribution towards fighting the pandemic, mitigation against the pandemic, I would do nothing about it, so my gratitude goes towards your personal or collective conscience towards your country.”
Sakunda Holdings chief executive officer Mr Kuda Tagwirei said of his company’s support: “We pray that this gesture will assist in the fight and assure you of our continued support to the Government and the people of Zimbabwe at large in this dark hour,” he said.
The Chinese embassy donated 166 000 masks, 7 600 protective suits, 20 000 test kits, 12 000 pairs of gloves and five ventilators.
A further 8 000 protective suits, 15 095 respirators, 150 000 surgical masks, 7 000 pairs of gloves and shoe covers were expected soon.
Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Guo Shaochun commended relations between the two countries.
“It’s truly gratifying to see that under the enormous stress of Covid-19 disease, China and Zimbabwe friendship is standing stronger ever,” he said.
“China will not forget how Zimbabwe was among the first to give us confidence and support in the hard days of our own struggle against the virus.”
Ambassador Guo said an 11-member team of Chinese experts was expected in the country soon to assist in the fight against the pandemic.
“A few days ago, Zimbabwe and China celebrated the 40th anniversary of the founding of diplomatic ties,” he said. “Although we were not able to enjoy the day in fanfare, our joint efforts to fight the disease was also a remarkable way to commemorate the milestone.”
Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines president Ms Elizabeth Nerwande said mining companies had managed to raise US$1 million to go towards purchase of PPEs and equipment that included ventilators and hospital beds, while their members had adopted hospitals in the districts and hospitals they operate in.
Valley Seeds donated 30 tonnes sugar beans, while Flexiwood donated movable storage trunks for medicines and other sundries.