Tatenda Chipungudzanye, News Editor
. . . 511 left homeless in Masvingo
A TOTAL of 5 300 houses were destroyed leaving 511 people homeless in Masvingo Province when Cyclone Idai hit the province.
Five people died in the process in Bikita while Mutimurefu Prison in Masvingo had four cells and kitchen roofs blown away.
Speaking at the handover ceremony of donations at Masvingo Civic Centre on Saturday, the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Ezra Chadzamira said 17 injuries were reported in Zaka, Gutu and Chiredzi districts.
Zanu-PF Politburo member Senator Josiah Hungwe warned handlers of the donations to ensure that the goods reach intended recipients.
Sen Hungwe praised the donors for reaching out to assist the cyclone victims saying it showed that Zimbabweans were all for each other.
The donated stuff includes 30 000 bricks by Chivi South Member of Parliament Killer Zivhu who is set to build 20 huts for some of the affected households, 31 tonnes of groceries and 1000 litres fuel by FBC, N Richards and Company gave 15 tonnes of mealie meal while UFIC donated assorted groceries, bales of clothes and stationery.
THZ donated roofing material for Mutimurefu Prison, six bales of clothes and 500 blankets and six tonnes of sugar while Red Cross gave tents to be used to shelter the now homeless as structures for proper shelter are put in place.
Family of God Church donated building materials for schools and clinics.
“In our culture when there is disaster tinodavira mhere and this is what has happened.
“There has been response by individuals and organisations to respond to the mourning in the province. Partners are mourning with us.
“These donations will go a long way to assist the victims,” said Sen Hungwe.
Sen Hungwe added: “Those who are handling the goods should not steal.
“The goods should reach the recipients and we do not want to hear reports of abuse of the donated goods.”
Sen Hungwe showered praises for MP Zivhu and FBC CEO John Mushayavanhu for mooting the donations idea.
“I have known Zivhu as someone who wants to help the next person. He is touched by other people’s lives.
“It is Zivhu who called me and introduced the idea of helping the victims in the province and we then noted that there were so many people affected.
“We organised this in three days and we got the donations; Zivhu has shown good leadership skills,” said Sen Hungwe.
He said Mushayavanhu had to be thanked for leading FBC in donating for a noble cause.
“When you go back to Harare, can you thank John (Mushayavanhu). He has done well and these donations show kuti kune vadavire mhere.
“We will forever be grateful,” said Sen Hungwe.
Min Chadzamira said 13 schools had been affected in Gutu and Civil Protection Unit was assessing the extent of the damage.
“A total of 182 classroom blocks in the province need attention and 71 blair toilets were destroyed.
“CPU is still compiling reports and giving updates,” Min Chadzamira said.
Speaking on the sidelines of the donations event Zivhu said there was need to be there for each other for the positive development of the country.
“Surely you cannot sleep when you know that someone is now homeless and you have the capability to help.
“We should put our nation first and then our issues second,” MP Zivhu said.