President Emmerson Mnangagwa has cut short his trip to the United Arab Emirates to be involved directly with the response to the relief effort to the victims of Cyclone Idai which is now reported to have claimed 65 lives in Zimbabwe.
The Ministry of Information said Mnangagwa had also incorporated in his schedule a plea for assistance for the cyclone victims.
The President declared a State of disaster yesterday after reports of massive destruction of property and more than 30 deaths especially in Chimanimani yesterday.
The Herald today said the death toll had now risen to 65 according to Chimanimani East Member of Parliament Joshua Sacco.
Mnangagwa was yesterday disparaged by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change for undertaking the trip in the midst of the disaster.
Mnangagwa left for the UAE yesterday at the invitation of Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Sultan Al Nahyan.
He was accompanied by Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo and Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando.
The President was expected to have strategic talks with the UAE leader.
The UAE is a major producer of fuel and gas and intends to establish a fuel hub in Southern Africa and Zimbabwe is strategically located to accommodate the hub.