THE government yesterday finally responded to the outcry of frustrated flood victims in Tsholotsho with a five-member ministerial team stampeding to donate 30 tonnes of maize, three tonnes of mealie-meal, blankets and kapenta fish to some affected villages in the flood hit Matabeleland North district.
Although it may be argued that the flooding was down to the force of nature, flood victims in Tsholotsho had accused the government of failing to deal with the crisis.
Critics felt the government was channelling most of its efforts on the Tokwe-Mukosi Dam disaster while the equally devastated Tsholotsho villagers who had lost their property suffered.
Although there was a feeling that this effort came a bit late, a ministerial committee on disaster preparedness and management led by Senior Minister of State Simon Khaya Moyo made the all-important visit.
The committee, which also comprised ministers of Local Government Ignatius Chombo, Home Affairs Kembo Mohadi, Transport and Infrastructural Obert Mpofu and Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Jonathan Moyo, visited the Sipepa area where they handed over one tonne of mealie-meal, blankets and clothes.
Khaya Moyo’s wife Margaret Mhambi (MaTshuma) donated clothes to Gogo Elina Mpala of Mapili under Chief Mathuphula after reading about her plight in the Southern Eye last week.
“Umama read about Gogo Mpala in the paper,” said Khaya Moyo, waving a copy of Southern Eye that reported on Gogo Mpala’s plight.
“When she read about the matter, she said we should give Gogo Mpala something.”
Khaya Moyo’s wife said she and her friend, a Mrs Ndubiwa, had organised clothes for Gogo Mpala after reading about her ordeal.
Khaya Moyo paid tribute to the local Civil Protection Unit (CPU) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for efforts they made in mitigating the effects of floods that affected the villagers.
“We were sent by President (Robert) Mugabe to come and see how you are living after the floods.
“We have been updated on the situation by Chombo who heads the national CPU,” he said.
Khaya Moyo said the rains were an act of God because a lot of places had gone for many years without receiving rain leading to the death of lots of livestock.
“In other areas like Masvingo, homesteads were washed away. We were also there to assess the damage,” he said.
“Tsholotsho was also affected. The government acted with speed to give assistance, but we hear some saying there are people who were abandoned. Who are you and what have you given to the people?”
Khaya Moyo called on embassies and other organisations to chip in and assist Tsholotsho villagers.
Chombo said the government had at the time of flooding chipped in, but in a small way.
He, however, said they had since put in money for allowances and coupons, adding that civil servants should go straight to work.
“There are some lazy civil servants who have been hiding behind the non-availability of allowances to renege from (doing) their work. They must go back to work,” Chombo charged.
Meanwhile, Professor Moyo gave Pardon Maphosa — who scored three As, 5Bs and a C in the 2013 ‘O’ Level exams — $350 to enrol for ‘A’ Level at Tsholotsho High School tomorrow.
Chombo also left $200 for the assistance of any needy school children.