THE massive response by corporates, churches, musicians, Diasporans, ordinary people and fellow States following the Cyclone Idai disaster in part of Manicaland has been overwhelming.
This oneness shown is commendable.
But as well-wishers pull in the same direction, there is need for accountability and transparency on the part of those who are receiving the donations — in cash and kind — to make sure they reach the intended beneficiaries.
With donations coming in fast from different quarters and going through several hands, it makes sad reading to note that certain greedy elements are already stubbornly diverting and looting these donations.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has acknowledged this and raised a red flag, warning that some donated items are not reaching the point of need, urging transparency and accountability in the handling of the items.
The donations — though not enough compared to the number of people in need — should be directed towards the intended beneficiaries, without fail and within the shortest possible time.
Mnangagwa should put safeguards in place to ensure these donations are not looted.
What is happening now is not different from what was experienced back then in 2014 when the Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam flood victims had goods donated to them looted by top government officials who diverted them to their private businesses.
Also, in September last year Harare municipal officials inflated prices in an elaborate ploy to loot $10 million which had been donated by Econet founder Strive Masiyiwa towards the anti-cholera fight.
An alert Masiyiwa scuttled the plot after issuing a statement saying he had asked his people to prepare lists of those who wilfully tried to exploit the situation so as to name and shame them.
This led to the reversal of the inflated quotations.
Zanu PF bigwigs have an illustrious history of looting and corruptly distributing donated goods. They are not alone in this insensitive habit.
We must desist from such bad habits of taking advantage of desperate situations. In the interest of those affected, this must not happen.
The president must not get tired of engaging in processes that will help fight such corrupt and governance failures. He must also walk the talk and bring to book all those caught on the wrong side of the law.
It is all our duty to guard against corruption and looting of these donations and more so to ensure the affected receive relief goods.