EU, UN officials assess Zimbabweans’ needs after Cyclone Idai

This visit comes a day after local media and the opposition claimed that relief aid is being politicised by the ruling Zanu-PF party.

Survivors listen to Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa (unseen) adressing residents of Ngangu, a township of Chimanimani during his tour of the affected areas, following a devastation by cyclone Idai on 20 March 2019. Picture: AFP

HARARE - Top European Union and United Nations officials arrived in eastern Zimbabwe on Wednesday to assess the needs of communities in the wake of Cyclone Idai.

This visit comes a day after local media and the opposition claimed that relief aid is being politicised by the ruling Zanu-PF party.

The head of the EU in Zimbabwe Timo Olkkonen was in Chimanimani together with UN resident coordinator Bishow Parajuli.

Earlier, they met government officials in the provincial capital Mutare.

Olkkonen told reporters he raised the issue of alleged politicisation of relief aid.

“We also discussed the stories circulating about politicisation of humanitarian aid, where we expressed our concern and our sincere hope that this will not be happening. We got assurance from the minister and provincial administration that there will be impartiality in the providing of aid.”

On social media on Wednesday, a video taken in Chimanimani showed ruling party vehicles packed with what appears to be donated goods.

Critics claim Zanu-PF is using the crisis and donations sourced by others to gain political mileage although the government denies this.