'Declare floods a national disaster'

HARARE - Tendai Biti’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the government to declare the Cyclone Dineo-induced floods a national disaster after concerns about the ability of government to cope with the aftermath.

This comes after rain and strong winds battered Matabeleland last weekend, causing damage and devastating parts of Tsholotsho where villagers have been marooned.

“PDP urges the government to declare the flood situation a national disaster and appeal for assistance from international disaster and relief organisations,” PDP spokesperson Jacob Mafume said in a statement.

The party further castigated the government’s ill-preparedness in dealing with the floods, resulting in scores of people drowning while livestock and properties have also been lost.

“The unfolding sad development across the country where lives have been unnecessarily lost shows how the government has no care for the citizens,” Mafume said.

Given this scenario, he said, the Zanu PF-led government must ensure that the Civil Protection Unit (CPU) is well equipped to deal with floods, instead of focusing on unnecessary issues.

“Zimbabwe’s government is dominated by mediocrity, false and corrupt personalities with huge egos, hubris, arrogance, individualism, selfishness and crony capitalism.

“The government’s focus must be on procurement of proper tents, health, and water and sanitation facilities.

“It must ensure that there is proper sanitation and camping facilities as recommended by the CPU and ensure that the temporary camps do not create spaces for perpetration of violence, rape and other atrocities,” Mafume said.

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