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Opinion / Columnist

Even politicians will not divide us

23 Mar 2019 at 21:33hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE is currently battling to come to terms with Cyclone Idai-induced devastation and politicians have conveniently taken advantage of the obtaining human suffering to score cheap political goals.

Regardless, it is pleasing that Zimbabweans have demonstrated a rare sense of unity by donating to assist their brethren affected by the devastating cyclone.

Over 100 people were killed in the natural disaster while an estimated 300 are missing and hundreds went homeless after their homes were destroyed. Very few people have cared to think about the livestock - cattle, goats, donkeys, sheep and poultry - that have always been an important measure of wealth by rural standards. Also destroyed was Manicaland's beaming flora, wildlife species as Cyclone Idai swept through the country's eastern province.

The cyclone, which hit Zimbabwe - Chimanimani District of Manicaland Province in particular is one of the worst to affect the country in recent years. However, Zimbabweans from all over the country and other people from across the country's borders came with an assortment of food and other items to assist the victims.

As the cyclone's intensity dropped, we witnessed a number of politicians trekking down to the province in what can only be viewed as publicity stunts.

It is important for people to view this for what it is - political grandstanding. Cyclone Idai remains a natural calamity, a disaster in which the affected need assistance the most and may not have any interest in the political narrative being pushed by these politicians.

There is no way politics will be able to divide us as a people if the togetherness shown in the cyclone response continues in our people.

Politicians are simply out there to sway us to their side and it explains why they even take advantage of catastrophes like Cyclone Idai, where lives have been lost and livelihoods destroyed.

We seldom see these politicians when the time for reconstruction comes to try and make things work again for the people in Chimanimani because they will know that they have to part with resources in order to bring normalcy to the affected areas.
The roads that have been destroyed, power and communications infrastructure, bridges, schools among other things will need to be put up again.

The biggest lesson perhaps is that in future information on impending natural disasters must be communicated to the remotest outpost in our country before evacuation processes begin to save lives of both people and livestock.

Source - Daily News
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