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Mugabe to Address UN Meeting as Flood Victims Feel Abandoned

FILE: Zimbabwean police on patrol at the Chingwizi transit camp for over 20,000 people displaced as a result of the flooded Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam. (Photo: Human Rights Watch)

President Robert Mugabe is on Friday expected to address the United Nations International Ebola Recovery Conference focusing on investment for Ebola recovery response.

Mr. Mugabe, who chairs both the African Union and Southern African Development Community, will be speaking in his capacity as AU chair.

The conference, which is focusing international attention on targeted investments to support recovery priorities, began Thursday with thematic sessions and presentations from various stakeholders including United Nations development program and the world health organization.

Meanwhile at home, 20,000 Tokwe Mukosi flood victims have petitioned Mr. Mugabe, accusing his government of abandoning them and his cabinet ministers of repeatedly breaking promises to address their concerns since 2013.

The petition, which was delivered Wednesday at the president’s Munhumutapa offices in Harare, urged him to visit Nuanetsi Ranch where they have been resettled.

Efforts to get a comment from Mr. Mugabe’s spokesman, George Charamba, who is currently in New York at the Ebola conference with the president, were futile as his mobile phone went unanswered.

One of the Nuanetsi Ranch villagers, Milton Shumba, said people are facing problem of starvation, with many of them barely receiving enough to survive. Shumba added that many people are yet to receive their compensation from the government.

“It's one of the items which we have highlighted to the president that we are suffering. Our homes were destroyed but we didn’t get anything in the form of compensation,” said Shumba.

Speaking on Mr. Mugabe travelling to New York, the MDC formation led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said in a statement released Thursday it is deeply appalled by the president's decision to embark on another costly and completely unnecessary jamboree to New York to attend the Ebola conference.

The MDC urged Mr. Mugabe to spend more time at his Munhumutapa building offices crafting and implementing workable and viable economic policies.

The president, since the beginning of the year, has travelled to over 10 countries for domestic, regional SADC and AU business.