South Africa has deployed its army in Zimbabwe, not for war of course but for reconstruction work in the cyclone hit parts of Zimbabwe bordering Mozambique in the east.
The military delegation consists of 118 engineers from the South African Defence Forces is in the country following the pledge by their Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Cde Lindiwe Sisulu to assist in the reconstruction of roads and bridges in Chimanimani, particularly at Kopa growth point – the epicenter of the cyclone.
Leader of the visiting delegation, Lieutenant Colonel Delnot Njoko told the ZBC News that his team would be camped in Chimaninani for 23 weeks, for a cause that will further cement positive bilateral relations shared between Zimbabwe and its neighbour.
“We are not here for war, we are here to assist our counterparts in the reconstruction of two bridges here in Chimanimani. More construction equipment is on its way to to this area to expedite the reconstruction efforts. Of course this follows a pledge made by our minister of strengthening our relationship with Zimbabwe,” he said.
Commander Zimbabwe Corps of Engineers, Colonel Aaron Edwards said the target is to ensure all roads and the two bridges are complete before the onset of the next rainfall season.
“We are constructing two critical bailey bridges that link Kopa with other villages having already constructed temporary bridges that we used during the peak of the cyclone,” he said.
Community members welcomed the joint operations by the two military units and further expressed optimism that the roads will be passable soon.