Unity trumps politics President Mnangagwa (wearing scarf) assesses damage wrought by Cyclone Idai in Ngangu Township, Chimanimani, in the company of Manicaland Provincial Affairs Minister Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba (right), Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa (partially obscured) and opposition leaders Dr Thokozani Khupe (centre) and Professor Lovemore Madhuku (in black suit) yesterday. — (Picture by Tawanda Mudimu)

Tendai Mugabe in CHIMANIMANI
Zimbabwean political leaders yesterday rose above their political persuasions and showed the world that they can work together for the  country’s common good after they toured the Cyclone Idai-ravaged districts of Chipinge and Chimanimani as a team to assess the damage.

At least 18 leaders of political parties that are taking part in the national dialogue visited almost all the areas that were affected by Cyclone Idai in the two areas and witnessed the work being undertaken by the Government to rebuild damaged infrastructure.

President Mnangagwa, who led the high-powered delegation, visited Nhedziwa and Machongwe areas before delivering a keynote address at Ngangu Township in Chimanimani.

In his address, the President hailed the unity showed by the political parties in face of the natural disaster which required all Zimbabweans to come together to assist the affected communities.

Said President Mnangagwa: “Zimbabwe is a unitary State. We are one people. We are a democracy. Our Constitution allows anybody to create a political movement of any sort in the country. This is why in the last election we had 123 parties. It’s a symbol of thriving democracy in our country. However, 23 of the political parties including my political party contested for the Office of the President so I have invited the 23, including myself. I am happy that when our people are faced by this tragedy we put our politics aside and approach the issue as a humanitarian that has befallen our country. Together with 18 other presidents who are here the focus is that our people have been visited by this disaster.

“It (the disaster) never asked for any political card, and say what card do you have, so that I can avoid you whether you are Zanu-PF, MDC, NCA, whatever. On that basis we are united. We speak the same language.”

President Mnangagwa said the country was receiving overwhelming support from several countries as a result of his policy of engagement and re-engagement.

“As you are aware, our relations with Britain are not that sound but after this disaster I received letters of consolation from Queen Elizabeth and the entire members of the British Royal Family saying the people of Zimbabwe our relationship dates back to years ago,” he said.

“Only yesterday, President Trump of the United States of America sent his ambassador to give us US$2,5 million. We are overwhelmed by the support we are receiving.”

The President said more support came from other Sadc countries such as Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and Tanzania.

He said the country also received huge support from the United Arab Emirates following his visit Abu Dhabi recently including tents, medical drugs and food among others.

President Mnangagwa said Government was working on measures to relocate other people from affected areas whiles others would be assisted to build strong housing structures. He said no one should die because of hunger whether they were affected by the cyclone or not.

MDC-T president Dr Thokozani Khupe said Zimbabwe stood to benefit more as a united front.

“I agree with His Excellency the President,” she said.

“What happened here had brought every Zimbabwean under one roof so that we speak with one voice, so that we do everything together. We want to make sure that what here we tackle it together. Over and above that we want to transcend what happened here. We want to build our country together. Our coming together here is a clear demonstration that we can indeed work together as a country.”

President Mnangagwa , Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Opposition Political leader Thokozani Khupe, Manicaland Provincial Minister Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba and other political leaders help workers to rehabilitate the bridge which was damaged by Cyclone Idai in Ngangu Township Manicaland yesterday.-(Picture by Tawanda Mudimu)

National Constitutional Assembly president Professor Lovemore Madhuku said: “When you are faced with such a calamity except to be united and look forward together and we must track this to all other avenues of our country including the economy and everything else. That is the spirit that we needed as a country. Every other successful has succeeded on the same spirit.”

All the leaders of the political parties who visited Ngangu were given an opportunity address the people.

They all thanked President Mnangagwa for uniting the nation by initiating the process of national dialogue and leading the entire delegation to visit all the areas affected by the cyclone.

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