The business community has pledged to raise $100 million towards the restoration of infrastructure and social services in areas that were affected by Cyclone Idai.
The pledges were made at the “Reboot Trust Fund” launch at a local hotel on Wednesday, that saw several corporates pledging more than $40 million in one night.
The fund, running under the theme “If not now, then when, if not you, then who?” is an initiative meant to complement Government in the restoration of services in Manicaland, Masvingo and Mashonaland East.
In his address via a video clip which was played to the gathering, executive chairman and founder of the Econet Group Mr Strive Masiyiwa urged people to unite for a good cause and help the people of Manicaland and Masvingo provinces to get back on their feet.
“They have nothing to eat, no shelter above their heads, their crops and livestock were washed away, children need to go back to school. Let us work together in a coordinated way and help them get back on their feet. This is a call to reboot, rebuild for the love of Zimbabwe,” he said.
Speaking during the same occasion Econet Wireless Zimbabwe represented by its chief executive Mr Douglas Mboweni said; “I believe as the business enterprise, we have the capacity to move in and do what we can.
“When we join hands, we can move mountains, incredible good is possible.
“Most people need to be housed as soon as possible and we need to think of long-term solutions. Today is the start of a journey. We do not have to just watch and wait for other people to come through and help us.”
Government has so far disbursed $100 million towards assisting victims of the cyclone that left 268 people dead, while roads, houses, schools, hospitals, businesses and communication as well as power infrastructure were destroyed, while more than 21 000 people were displaced.
Mr Mboweni pledged another $5 million on behalf of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe after it donated a similar amount when the disaster struck.
Higherlife Foundation, a philanthropic organisation founded by Mr Masiyiwa and his wife Tsitsi, pledged $10 million through its representative Dr Kennedy Mubaiwa.
Cassava Smartech’s representative Mr Eddie Chibi came in with a $5 million pledge.
TelOne’s managing director Ms Chipo Mtasa said the telecommunications company was going to build two clinics in Chimanimani at a cost of $500 000, while Dr Shingi Munyeza on behalf of his Vinal Investments, is forking out $2 million towards building of schools.
Businessman Mr Tawanda Nyambirai, pledged to provide heifers worth $5 million to people that were affected in Manicaland and Masvingo, while Hamara Foods contributed $1 million towards the setting up of poultry projects in the affected communities.
Another company, Distributed Power Africa led by its Group CEO Mr Norman Moyo said it will set up 10 mini grids around the affected areas to connect power to the communities. In addition, the company also pledged to build 500 model houses at a cost of $5 million.
Mr Moyo said they will build 50 houses per each mini grid.
Liquid telecom’s regional CEO Mr Wellington Makamure, who was among the guests, said children in the affected areas needed to go back to school and pledged $5 million towards building schools. Pastor Tom Deuschle, Dr Peter Mbizo and Mr Trevor Dew contributed a total of $160 000.
Dr Munyeza said they have appointed a board of trustees and auditors to ensure transparency.