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Joyce Banda in Zimbabwe for groundbreaking ceremony

by Staff reporter
09 May 2022 at 07:04hrs | Views
FORMER Malawi President Mrs Joyce Banda is in the country where she will preside over a groundbreaking ceremony for a community project targeting hundreds of villagers in Hwange's Msuna area along the Zambezi River.

The Southern African Development Initiators (SADI) invited her so that Zimbabwe can learn from humanitarian projects she is doing in her country for communities especially targeting women, girls and the less privileged.

Msuna is located on Deka mouth on the Zambezi River in Hwange District where climate change affected livelihoods of hundreds of villagers who used to depend on fishing before the push backs they fished in dried up. The villagers are now slowly venturing into horticulture and citrus production as alternative economic activities.

SADI will set up fish ponds while a piece of land has been identified for a pilot irrigation project for the community.

Mrs Banda will visit Msuna for groundbreaking of the project today.

She landed and was welcomed by Matabeleland North Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Richard Moyo at Victoria Falls International Airport in the morning before touring the Falls in the afternoon.

The visit is also a perfect present for women in Matabeleland North and the country as a whole as Mrs Banda took time to wish them a Happy Mothers' Day which was celebrated worldwide yesterday.

In an interview at the airport, she commended President Mnangagwa and his Malawi counterpart Lazarus Chakwera for initiating programmes aimed at uplifting lives of citizens.

She said Government alone cannot do enough hence the need for involvement of private sector and civil society among others.

"We are here in Victoria Falls on the invitation of the Southern Africa Development Initiators. This is an organisation that is going to be launching a rural transformation programme targeting women and girls.  This is what I have done all my adult life, people look at me and what they see most is not having been President of Malawi but the work that I have done at grassroots with those that we consider the lower level and underprivileged," said Mrs Banda.

She said rural transformation is a noble cause, especially considering that a majority of girls struggle to access basic needs like health and education.

"It is not realistic for us to expect governments no matter how rich they are, to address all the problems that we face as human beings because the task is enormous. Therefore it is for us, those who have ability, to do the little we can, pool our resources to help reach those that are underprivileged. Right now 40 million girls are not in school in the whole of Africa and 135 million in the whole world," she said.

The former Malawi President called for a concerted effort in addressing issues affecting citizens. She said she recently attended the intergenerational conference in Malawi for young and elderly women which sought to find solutions to humanitarian problems.

"We should be prepared to join hands with the younger generation. It's a pleasure for me to be back in the country that I consider home as well. It's a beautiful country. It's my calling whether I am in Malawi, Zambia or Zimbabwe, I am at home. But I am truly grateful that I was invited.

"This is Mothers' Day and let me wish all women of Zimbabwe and the world a Happy Mothers' Day. All mothers deserve a better life. I am grateful that a younger generation of Zimbabwean men and women, has taken the responsibility to do something about the situation of people at grassroots and it's my pleasure to be here to join them," she said.

Mrs Banda said Zimbabwe and Malawi share a lot in common.

She said the two Heads of State are doing the best they can to look not only on the political diplomacy but also the economic by creating conducive environments.

"For me I find it extremely difficult to separate Zimbabwe and Malawi because I am home. I truly believe that these countries are close together and should be working together. When you come to Zimbabwe the first thing you see is impressive infrastructure through efforts being made by the Government. I see that this Government is trying against all odds," she said.

Minister Moyo said Matabeleland North is leveraging on opportunities in tourism, agriculture, mining and water which are attracting other partners for development.

"The province is grateful to all partners who have come on board to develop projects such as irrigation schemes and to have former President of Malawi come to Victoria Falls and Matabeleland North means a lot because she is officiating at a groundbreaking of an irrigation project initiated by SADI. We are very happy and we welcome her, as we thank the Second Republic for allowing her to come to our province for development," he said.

From Hwange, Mrs Banda will proceed to Bulawayo today before connecting to Harare for a courtesy call on President Mnangagwa tomorrow.

Source - The Chronicle
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