Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa who recently came under immense criticism for lack of care for victims of cyclone Idai raised more eyebrows and invited more vitriol from angry Zimbabweans when pictures of what has been termed ‘the presidential sofa’ went viral on social media.
The sofa was delivered by helicopter to Chimanimani one of the areas hardest hit by tropical cyclone Idai. Mnangagwa was due to arrive in Chimanimani to access the damage caused by cyclone Idai.
President Mnangagwa was scheduled to address survivors of the cyclone and pay his condolences to families in Chimanimani. Soldiers from the presidential guard where seen offloading the sofa from a helicopter. Aid distribution was said to have been put on hold until the president had arrived.
It is feared that aid distribution is already being politicised. Meanwhile, in an unprecedented move the Minister of Defence, Oppah Muchinguri, admitted that the Zimbabwean government failed to anticipate the magnitude of the Cyclone which also smashed into Malawi and Mozambique.
Medicines are reportedly running out and resources are stretched to breaking point, with rescuers in a race against time to reach survivors. About 100 people are known to have died in Zimbabwe, while in Mozambique, the death toll stands at more than 200.
The UN says the storm has unleashed a humanitarian disaster across the three countries with more than 2.5 million people affected.
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