To make matters worse, the disaster victims in Chimanimani - one of the worst hit areas - desperate for aid, had to make do at first with Mnangagwa's sofa. It gave them little comfort to see presidential guards unloading furniture from a helicopter instead of emergency supplies.
The entire budget allocation for this year for the Civil Protection Unit amounted to a meagre $3 million. it could have got more had it not been for government profligacy in hiring expensive planes to take Mnangagwa on his manic travels – 28 trips abroad in the 15 months since he came to power. After announcing two days of mourning, he immediately departed for Angola to mark the anniversary of the Southern African Liberation Day – which most regional heads of state didn't bother to attend.
Whatever the failures of the government, there can be no doubting the open-hearted response of the people of Zimbabwe to the disaster. People abroad have also responded generously. The British Ambassador Ms Melanie Robinson told the President that the UK had already committed $23 million to assist victims of cyclone Idai. ‘Here in Zimbabwe we have prepositioned equipment in Mutare so we have been able to respond very quickly and that is health equipment, medical supplies and some hygiene equipment and making sure that it gets to the people who really need it.' Pity the Zimbabwean government didn't do the same.
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