Opinion / Columnist
Cyclone Idai exposed misplaced priorities in Zimbabwe
22 Mar 2019 at 08:01hrs | Views
The devastating cyclone effects as witnessed and experienced in the eastern parts of the country makes a very sad reading of the kind of leadership Zimbabwe has had since the advent of independence.
To begin with, it is disheartening to count so many lives lost and the levels of destruction considering that the weather services issued warnings of the furious weather well in advance, even providing a clear path it would take.
For the government to fail to make contingency plans for safety of citizens in the path of the cyclone smacks of highest levels of incompetence and complete disregard of the sanctity of human life.
For the country's president to even hire expensive private jets to visit Asia in the eve of cyclone landing is sheer arrogance especially when the Civil Protection Unit is struggling providing services due to lack of resources. As if that was not enough, the president went further to hire yet another private jet to Bulawayo right in the middle of the crisis in Chinanimani, ignoring widespread condemnation and rebuke from suffering Zimbabweans.
The distance between Harare and Bulawayo is only about 520 Kilometres and a president with correctly placed priorities could have driven to his destination action instead of wasting state resources that could have been channeled to saving lives in Chimanimani.
ZAPU calls on the government of Emerson Mnangagwa to prioritise and concentrate on alleviating the disaster stricken area of Manicaland and stop grandstanding on other unimportant matters such as pacifying Matebeleland people on Gukurahundi as happened on Thursday 21 March 2019.
All efforts must be directed to Manicaland where a bigger job awaits government as we need to embark on rebuilding homes and reconstruction of infrastructure in the aftermath of the fury of earth in that part of the country.
Now is the time the government needs wise council and guidance in making the right priorities and it is the duty of all well meaning citizens to hold them to account both to duty and to the nation.
In that regard, ZAPU takes first steps and offer to assist wherever possible in order to collectively alleviate the plight of citizens of Manicaland.
It is during times like this that the importance of Devolution is noticed and must be emphasised. Adherence to the chapter 14 clause if our national constitution could have avoided such magnitudes of loss of lives and property as rescue services could have been localised thereby cutting short the response turnaround time. Therefore, we once again call on the Zimbabwean government to expeditiously implement full devolution of power to save lives.
for ZAPU Department of Information and Publicity.
Source - Iphithule Maphosa
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