10 April 2019

Zimbabwe: Government Confirms Own Officials Stealing Cyclone Idai Aid

Photo: Columbus Mavhunga/VOA
South African police sniffer dogs have been sent to parts of Zimbabwe hit by Cyclone Idai to help look for those who are missing and presumed dead.

Two government officials have been arrested for stealing aid donated towards victims of Cyclone Idai while a third case of a similar nature has also been reported in Mvuma.

This was revealed by Local Government Minister July Moyo while addressing journalists at a post-cabinet meeting in Harare on Tuesday.

Minister Moyo said two of the cases were already being dealt with within local courts.

"As I speak, we have two sets of people who were trying to steal, and they came from one source at Silver Stream... so the people who were stealing happened to be officials who were working there and both of them have been caught.

"One court case is going through in Chipinge and the other in Rusape. Some of the things they were stealing are actually ridiculous, but people would do that.

"We have another case which has been reported to me of government officials and some other non-government people who also tried to take things and convert them to their personal use."

On Monday a deputy director in the ministry of women affairs, Christine Chedeme was nabbed with goods worth about $3,000 she had allegedly stolen from Silver Stream command centre.

Chideme had helped herself to blankets, shoes and a wide range of foodstuff donated by locals and foreigners towards the plight of Cyclone survivors.

A police constable stationed at the same command centre, Edward Dhumukwa was also arrested after stealing an assortment of donations.

Millions of dollars are being sourced for those who lost homes, possessions and forms of livelihood during the harsh weather phenomenon.

Government says $612 million was required to cater for the survivors for the next 12 months.

Earlier on this week, authorities in Mozambique arrested three for diverting donations towards the cyclone.

The three had stolen 19 bags of mealie meal, 19 bags of rice, 100kg of beans and 11 bags of soya bean.

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