Takunda Maodza Bureau Chief
INFORMATION, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has suggested construction of a monument at Kopa in Chimanimani to honour hundreds of people killed by Cyclone Idai.
The cyclone ravaged Chimanimani and Chipinge in March this year killing hundreds and destroying infrastructure worth over a billion dollars.
In a manner never witnessed before, Cyclone Idai sent huge boulders tumbling down mountains destroying homes, bridges and critical infrastructure.
In an interview with The Manica Post last Friday after spending the day touring Cyclone Idai affected areas in Chimanimani, Minister Mutsvangwa said erection of a monument at Kopa must be prioritised so as to protect and respect the dead.
“A monument must be constructed at that place to protect and respect those unfortunate people buried under those huge boulders. It is a historical site where people will always remember this calamity,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said understanding what happened at Kopa remained a mystery that required scientific study.
“Up to now we do not understand what happened. We do not know what kind of force swept down those huge boulders killing people. A scientific study would be required. Everyone in Zimbabwe and those outside would want to visit Kopa following the calamity. It would be good that those who come later know what happened,” she added.
Minister Mutsvangwa – who doubles as Senator for Chimanimani – hopes the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage will soon attend to the matter.
“This has been talked about and I am sure the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage will be looking at that as it has been expressed on many occasions. It is a wish by many people. I am expressing this as an individual, as a Senator for that area and as a Government Minister. It will go a long way in respecting our dead,” she said.
A monument is a structure created to commemorate a person/s or event which has become relevant to a social group as part of their remembrance of historic or cultural heritage.
President Mnangagwa declared Cyclone Idai a national disaster to help mobilise resources for the reconstruction of areas that were affected.
Of the affected areas Kopa and Ngangu in Chimanimani suffered the most.