Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, her son Prince Charles and her grandsons and their wives the Dukes and Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex have conveyed their heartfelt condolences to the government and the people of Zimbabwe following deaths, injuries and widespread destruction caused by Cyclone Idai.
Britain’s top diplomat to Zimbabwe Ambassador Melanie Robinson delivered the three letters to President Emmerson Mnangagwa this morning where she also announced a $23 million package for the three affected Southern African countries.
Messages of condolences continue to pour in from all corners of the world and this morning, Ambassador Robinson, who was accompanied by communications and corporate manager for the Department for International Development (DfID) Ms Nicky Russell – Smith and officials from Britain’s embassy offices in Harare paid a courtesy call on President Mnangagwa at his Munhumutapa offices to deliver the three letters of condolences.
The confirmed death toll in Zimbabwe, neighboring Mozambique and Malawi is now over 500, with hundreds more feared dead in towns and villages that were completely submerged.
Ambassador Robinson said a needs assessment is underway and more resources will be availed to ease the crisis.
The UK has been supporting Zimbabwe’s debt clearance plan with the Bretton Woods institutions and mediating with international financial institutions to support a bailout for the country and there is hope that when the group of 7 meet in May this year, UK’s influence will aid Zimbabwe’s cause.
The ambassador also briefed President Mnangagwa on issues surrounding Britain’s withdrawal from the EU grouping and what it would mean for Zimbabwe.
The Queen is seen as a key figure in mending relations between Britain and Zimbabwe while her influence in Zimbabwe’s plans to rejoin the Commonwealth grouping cannot be ignored.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Retired Lieutenant General Dr Sibusiso Moyo and Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet – Presidential Communications Mr George Charamba and other senior government officials attended the meeting.