Zimbabwe compassion warms Malawians President Mnangagwa who was accompanied by his Malawian counterpart, President Lazarus Chakwera, handed over the goods to the victims in Kapeni area of Soche, just outside the city of Blantyre

Cletus Mushanawani in Blantyre, Malawi

ZIMBABWE yesterday handed over goods worth millions of dollars to victims of Tropical Cyclone Freddy, which left more than 1 000 people dead and a trail of destruction in some parts of Malawi in March.

The Tropical Cyclone Freddy which hit Malawi from March 12 to March 21 also displaced hundreds of families, prompting the Malawian Government to declare a state of disaster. The  country is still reeling from the effects of the disaster.

Zimbabwe was among the first African countries to respond to Malawi’s distress call by mobilising resources, among them 300 tonnes of maize-meal.

President Mnangagwa and President Chakwera wave at thousands of Malawians who thronged Chileka Airport to bid him farewell after his State visit yesterday

Some of the donated goods include wooden cabins, cement, sanitisers, disinfectants, blankets, gumboots, clothing bales, stationery, medical equipment and various food items.

Yesterday, President Mnangagwa who was accompanied by his Malawian counterpart, President Lazarus Chakwera, handed over the goods to the victims in Kapeni area of Soche, just outside the city of Blantyre.

Before handing over the donated goods, Presidents Mnangagwa and Chakwera had a brief stop-over at Kapeni view where they witnessed the scars left behind by the landslides on Mount Soche.

Addressing residents who had gathered at Kapeni President Mnangagwa said: “We, the people of Zimbabwe and Malawi are one. We have a historical bond between the people of Zimbabwe and the people of Malawi. The founding father of Malawi, Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda and the founding father of Zimbabwe, Dr Robert Gabriel Mugabe were very close.

“I am deeply saddened and horrified to witness this devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Freddy here in Blantyre and other surrounding districts, which left half-a-million people displaced and close to a thousand people dead, while more than 2 000 were injured in all areas where these devastations occurred. The huge rocks which fell as a result of the incessant rains destroyed houses, killed and injured people.

Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda

“On behalf of the people and Government of Zimbabwe and on my behalf I want to extend our deepest sincere condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones.”

He said because of the frequency of these destructive natural disasters, there is urgent need to scale up collaboration and partnerships with regards to boosting climate change mitigation, resilience, adaptation and disaster preparedness.

“Zimbabwe will continue to stand by Malawi and will mobilise additional resources to assist the people whose livelihoods have been affected by the devastating cyclone,” said President Mnangagwa.

He also hailed all stakeholders in Malawi who swiftly responded and assisted all the victims of Tropical Cyclone Freddy.

Cyclone – Image taken from Shutterstock

“We want to salute those who assisted as they have managed to restore normal life in some of the most affected areas. I am also informed that your medical health system rose to the occasion and worked tirelessly to assist those affected,” said President Mnangagwa.

President Chakwera thanked Zimbabwe for the kind gesture

“Let me express gratitude on behalf of the people of Malawi to President Mnangagwa, my dear brother, the President of Zimbabwe. The people of Zimbabwe have demonstrated high levels of generosity by responding to the cries and needs of our people who were affected by the cyclone.

“This kind gesture demonstrated that Zimbabwe and Malawi are one people. We haven’t come out of the woods as we are still in mourning our loved ones who lost their lives. We have to look at mitigatory measures including the issue to do with legislature. Our Parliament last month came up with a Bill which I will sign into law when I get back to Lilongwe that will help us in future when we encounter disasters of such magnitude,” he said.

The two leaders also toured Conforzi Plantation Limited which is into macadamia and tea production where President Mnangagwa also offered his condolences.

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