Hundreds of Cyclone Idai victims with unknown graves – Govt

By Romio Takundwa

Government has revealed that over 344 Zimbabwean nationals killed during the Cyclone Idai and washed away into Mozambique have no known graves to date.

The people who went missing when the tropical storm wrecked havoc in the Chimanimani area in 2019 are now presumed dead.

A total of 157 bodies which had been buried in Mozambique are set to be exhumed, repatriated and reburied in Zimbabwe.

DNA tests will be conducted in order to positively identify those with known graves in Mozambique.

Speaking to the media, Local Government and Public Works Minister, July Moyo, who chairs the Inter-ministerial Committee on Civil Protection, said among those still missing the government has identified names of at least a quarter of the total number.

“As you may be aware, the immediate impact of Cyclone Idai was the loss of 347 lives with 344 people still missing who are now deemed dead.

“The names of the 203 of the 344 missing people are now known from information provided by villages where they lived. Modalities by Government pathologists to exhume and repatriate bodies of the 157 who died in Mozambique remains a priority,” he said.

The government official number of people injured was last at 201 while the number of the directly affected was over 50 000.

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