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No to looting of #CycloneIdai donations

21 Mar 2019 at 12:29hrs | Views
Emerging unverified reports of corrupt people who are said to be 'helping' themselves with the donations towards relief efforts for Cyclone Idai victims in Manicaland and Masvingo provinces cannot go unchallenged as it goes against the spirit ubuntu/hunhu.

It doesn't matter which political party you belong to or social standing in society, this kind of behaviour is despicable and should be dismissed with the contempt it deserves.

Zimbabweans from all corners of the country presented a united front to render assistance to stricken villagers following a deadly storm that engulfed Chimanimani and some parts of Masvingo.  People rallied together to fundraise and donate various goods such as blankets, food stuffs, water, clothing, mattresses, medicine, cooking utensils and cash donations to help the victims.

Various friendly countries such as United Arab Emirates, China, South Africa, Botswana and Tanzania, among others also responded positively, providing humanitarian emergency aid in this time of need.

It is against this good gesture that some unscrupulous people are said to be plotting to ‘reap where they did not sow.' If the reports of some individuals in the distribution chain diverting some of the donations intended for the disaster victims are true, then this shameful behaviour is unacceptable and must stop forthwith.

Any would be offender that will be possessed by this diabolic spirit should take heed of President Mnangagwa's strong warning that he would not spare anyone who will be caught trying to divert the donations meant for the disaster victims.

Speaking on arrival in Manicaland Province on Tuesday to spearhead rescue and relief efforts in communities ravaged by Cyclone Idai, President Mnangagwa warned, "materials have been donated all over and we have agreed on how these materials will be distributed and we satisfy ourselves that they have reached the intended beneficiaries. I will not spare anyone who wants to take advantage of the situation and be corrupt. I have no doubt that all of us who have contributed want to see them reach the communities."

Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary, Mr Ndavaningi Mangwana echoed the similar sentiments saying "donations should reach intended beneficiaries, government will account so should private organisations."

In May 2014, victims of the Tugwi-Mukosi Dam floods in Masvingo made sensational claims that the vanquished G40 member and former provincial affairs minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti and other top government officials looted donated goods, diverting them to their private businesses that were dotted around that province.

It is against this background that Government should implement robust measures to curtail any form of pilferage and embezzlement of donated funds.

So far, Government through the District Administrator's office must be applauded for introducing a well-co-ordinated and centralised system for donations as this ensures accountability and transparency. I urge that every delivery to that office should demand a receipt of acknowledgement of the donations.

In as much as some of our innovative and tech savvy people put forward their personal Ecocash platform numbers to solicit for cash donations, I challenge everyone who collected the cash donations on behalf of the victims to do the right thing. These individuals should make sure they forward the collected funds to the responsible authorities for onward transfers to the intended beneficiaries.

Source - Christine Lethokuhle Mabhena
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