By Lloyd Takawira & Kudakwashe Vhenge
Choosing between two seemingly contrasting exigencies ,the one while important overshadowed by the but under the eyes of government taking precedent over sanctity (life) . The tale of two cases before our government , the neglected cyclone Idai victims and erecting a statue of Mbuya Nehanda makes judgementalists disparage government thinking .
The state run press reported that government is set to erect a memorial statue for Zimbabwe’s First Chimurenga war icon, Mbuya Nehanda, in Harare in honour of her heroic rebellion against colonialism in which she paid the ultimate price by being hanged.
In between time , we have victims of Cyclone Idai are wallowing in a myraid of challenges emanating from what they termed “neglected by government”
The revereed Mbuya Nehanda who was hanged on April 27, 1902 , will have a memorial statue erected at the intersection of Samora Machel Avenue and Julius Nyerere Way.
State press qouated unknown government sources saying “The project is being run by the Office of the President and Cabinet, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Ministry, department of Public Works, National Archives of Zimbabwe and National Museums and Monuments,”
Echoes of Lamentations from a neglected people who fell victim to a ravaging cyclone Idai disaster that saw the whole community completely wiped out and an estimated 300 people went missing with only five bodies having been accounted for to date.
The catastrophe on the eve of Friday 15 March 2019 changed the people of Chimanimani livelihoods for the worst. Some families lost everything due to the floods .
Narrations from the survivors who spoke to Bustop TV during a recent visit to the Chimanimani are tear dreanching .
Tents donated as temporary shelter by the United Nations refugee agency last year after government failed to resettle its citizens has become their permanent dwellings. There are no tangible efforts to relocate them. Whilst we have our government wanting to erect a statue for Mbuya Nehanda , makes sense hey ?
Clever Mundeta (64) chairperson of the committee set up by Kopa Camp resident survivors l
speaking to BustopTV lamented over their poor living conditions, a result of abandonment by government .
“When we were brought here after the destruction of our houses and properties, we were told that this is a temporary arrangement and a place for permanent residence is still being located. We all thought that by now we would have been relocated to Buma as we had been told by our local authorities.
“Here we are facing a lot of problems such as security; we cannot afford to move around leaving our valuables in tents as thieves easily break in and steal. Issues of sanitary are not to mention as you can see that the whole camp shares that ablution facility you see built over there.
Another survivor, Loraine Sithole (30) walks up and down the rocky area of what was her place of residence narrating how she lost her 7 year old daughter, Kailer on the fateful night.
She bemoaned the minimal assistance which has been rendered to the victims of cyclone as they are still living in tents whilst support is being given to those living in the villages who were least affected by the catastrophe.
The initial ample food, cash and clothing donations have now become a rare occurrence in the displaced camps, she narrated. When they do come, they do not meet the indented beneficiaries particularly those living in the camps.
With more than a year having passed by after the devastating floods, a lot still needs to be done to take care of the survivors by providing them with basic amenities as well as finding a permanent solution to all their needs.
Maybe the saying by opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday that ” we don’t worship the dead ” makes sense .