Mbizo legislator Settlement Chikwinya expressed disappointment on Parliament’s for tabling a Committee Report on Cyclone Idai almost a year after the disaster and at a time when most of the recommendations have expired.
The report has recommendations which were supposed to have been implemented by December 2019 or before the onset of the 2019/20 rain season.
However, it could not be presented due to Parliament processes and procedure among many other things.
Speaking in the National Assembly soon after the report was read, Honourable Chikwinya said the report should have been tabled in time so that the executive could respond to the issues raised in time as well.
“Honourable Speaker, I want to bring it to your attention that the people of Zimbabwe expect us to be part of the solution as elected representatives. Cyclone Idai happened around March 2019 and we are discussing this report around March 2020; one year later. If you have listened to the recommendations, the majority of them have an expiry date of around December.
“I want to implore the Business of the House Committee which comprises probably the Members of the Speaker’s Panel, Leaders of the Opposition and Leaders of Government for them to be able to shape the Order Paper so that at least Parliament responds in time to matters of national interest. Had this Committee been dispatched to areas affected by Cyclone Idai, which was very correct, they were supposed to go to the affected areas in time, come back to Parliament in time, report in time so that at least the Executive can act in time.
“Right now people are bedevilled with another natural phenomenon in Binga, Bulawayo and Chimanimani. Some of the bridges reported to be re-built have again been affected, so I want to bring this to the attention of the Business of the House Committee to be able to clean up the Order Paper so that at least we are seen to be responding in time.
“Tomorrow we are seen to be a Parliament discussing Cyclone Idai when we have other issues of emergency nature now. So, can you please direct the Business of the House Committee to act in time? Thank you,” he said.
Below are the Committee’s Recommendations
1. Government should swiftly rehabilitate the transport infrastructure before the onset of the 2019/2020 rain season.
2. Government should swiftly avail funds for the remuneration of people who are working in the rehabilitation of infrastructure in Cyclone Idai affected areas by 31 December 2019.
3. There is a need to revisit the rural and urban settlement planning to match the demands of the changing environmental variables by 31 December 2019.
4. There is a need for the establishment of a ring-fenced disaster fund that will act as a buffer during times of crisis by 31 December 2019.
5. There is need to swiftly address the housing and water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure backlog to prevent the onset of enteric infections by 30 November 2019.
6. Government should also speed up the process of declaring those missing person dead to enable processing of necessary paperwork 31 December 2019.
7. The District Development Coordinators of Chimanimani and Chipinge should be allocated suitable vehicles that are proper for the terrain by 31 December 2019.
8. In the event that the government fails to provide decent accommodation facilities for the victims of Cyclone Idai, there is a need to improve the facilities at the camps such as ablution and lighting system by 30 November 2019
9. Government should provide agricultural inputs to the victims of Cyclone Idai under the Presidential scheme during the 2019/2020 agricultural season.