Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, in a post Cabinet address on Wednesday, said she had been advised by acting Local Government Minister Perrance Shiri that the army had failed to fly and join in the rescue operations.

Mutsvangwa said the army will fly to Binga as soon as the weather allows.

Villagers in parts of Binga affected by floods are still stranded on trees after the army failed to fly to the area and rescue them due to bad weather.

Government sources say one person has died after they were swept away by water with fears that the number could be more as rescue teams are yet to access some places that have proved hard to navigate. Heavy rains have caused extensive damage to infrastructure in Binga and Chimanimani where they destroyed 181 homes and swept away two bridges.

They have also severely damaged roads and homes, rendering the areas inaccessible. A man died in Binga on Tuesday while two more are reportedly missing. A detour bridge in the Biriiri area of Chimanimani has swept away on Tuesday, leaving Bumba, Biriiri and Chimanimani inaccessible.

Engineers and workmen from JR Goddard swiftly repaired the damaged detour bridge at Biriiri and got it back into operation by yesterday afternoon. The damage to the bridge threatened the work of aid agencies who are still providing relief services in Chimanimani after Cyclone Idai hit the district last March. The rains have also slowed down road repairs.

Department of Civil Protection director Mr Nathan Nkomo yesterday confirmed the damage. In Binga, most pupils failed to attend Nsungwale Primary School this week after Nandobe Bridge was swept away. Yesterday, only 40 out of 286 registered pupils were able to attend Nsungwale Primary School.

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