President Mnangagwa honours Cyclone heroes
Harare (New Ziana) – President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday conferred 37 individuals with medals of honour for their outstanding work in alleviating the plight of Cyclone Idai ravaged communities early this year.
The “cyclone heroes” were awarded the medals at the National Heroes Acre on a day Zimbabwe was commemorating its heroes of the first and second liberation wars.
Eastern and Southern parts of Zimbabwe were hit by the devastating cyclone early this year, leaving hundreds of people dead and thousands homeless.
In response, government and several partners mobilised humanitarian aid in support of the affected communities whose needs ranged from shelter, medicines, water and food.
In light of such efforts, government saw it necessary to recognise some of the individuals whose bravery and dedication helped save more lives while lessening the impact of the disaster.
Two individuals, UN resident coordinator Bishow Parajuli and Democratic Republic of Congo ambassador to Zimbabwe Mwanananga Mawampanga received the Zimbabwe International Friendship Award in Gold.
“He displayed exceptional leadership ability under conditions of extreme urgency when he marshalled and coordinated with zeal the UN agencies in response to the cyclone Idai disaster and thus restored hope in the face of such unprecedented destruction,” read a citation of the award.
“Mr Bishow Parajuli has indeed projected the United Nations as a true friend of the people of Zimbabwe and a dependable pillar of support along their transformative journey towards vision 2030.”
Parajuli, according to the citation, also received the medal for raising the collaboration and cooperation between the UN system and the government of Zimbabwe through campaigns for poverty reduction, food security, good governance and humanitarian support.
“He exhibited outstanding leadership and erudite diplomatic skills in fostering constructive positive engagement between the United Nations and the government of Zimbabwe in new areas of collaboration such as electoral support, Human rights, inter-political party dialogue peace building gender equality and public sector capacity building.”
On the other hand, ambassador Mawampanga, who is also the dean of diplomatic corps received the award for coordinating the cyclone Idai response by all countries accredited to Zimbabwe.
“Accept on behalf of all the members of the global family of nations who provided to Zimbabwe at its hour of extreme need this token of our sincere gratitude for the invaluable assistance.”
Other awards handed out to individuals who showed bravery during and after the cyclone include the Zimbabwe Bravery award in the Gold Cross category which was awarded posthumously to Itai Samere and Steven Hamudi.
President Mnangagwa also awarded other outstanding individuals the Zimbabwe bravery award in the silver category and the Jairos Jiri Humanitarian award to individuals who rendered humanitarian services in an outstanding and sterling manner.