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Auxillia Mnangagwa: First Lady par excellence and philanthropist

01 Mar 2019 at 08:15hrs | Views
The online news publication, Zimeye whose credibility is very questionable, did the unthinkable this week by taking a jibe on the First Lady, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa through publishing a shoddily-done one-sided negative article on her. The article claimed that the First Lady allegedly ill-treated and fired State House staff arbitrarily. The paper, however, exposed its ulterior motive by failing to provide solid documentary evidence to back its story or exact dates on which the alleged incidents occurred as is the norm in journalism.

The publication's story seems to be driven by some people who are bent on spoiling the First Lady's good name and great philanthropic record. Since assuming office she has spared neither resources nor efforts in ensuring better lives for all Zimbabweans especially the poor and the marginalised. It is against these efforts that the story was put together.

Amai Mnangagwa retired from active politics on 10 February 2018 at a rally that was held at Mvuma Stadium, Chirumanzu-Zibagwe Constituency in Midlands Province. She went on to launch the Angel of Hope Foundation as an empowerment vehicle which she uses to spearhead her philanthropic activities.

Having realised that civil servants often hide the details of the situation on the ground regarding service delivery and general quality of life especially in remote areas, the First Lady devised a plan to make unannounced visits to health institutions. In the company of news crews with cameras, the unannounced visits took the First Lady to Harare Central, Mpilo Central and United Bulawayo hospitals. As expected, the visits unearthed the state of the country's health delivery which pointed to critical areas that needed urgent corrective measures.

Relatedly, concerned people whose relatives were being ill treated at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals Ward C5 had to write anonymously to the First Lady and the issue was attended to and amicably resolved.

Realising that Zimbabwe was not spared the negative impact of climate change, on 27 October 2018, the First Lady launched the small grains farming programme targeting rural women at Madzamba Primary School in Mbire District of Mashonaland Central Province.  The long term benefits of growing small grains which are drought resistant would ensure food security at household level. This means higher quality of life at community level and a reduced food import bill on the part of Government.

As part of promoting hygiene in homes the First Lady, on 7 November 2018, embarked on the "Clean Homes Campaign" in Mashonaland West Province. The campaign was aimed at promoting cleanliness and hygienic practices in the wake of cholera outbreak in Glen View and Budiriro in September last year. Amai Mnangagwa during that campaign managed to visit the Beatrice Infectious Diseases Road Hospital and Chengetanai Old People's Home where she spent the larger part of the day interacting with the elderly.
More often than not, the rural communities are the ones that bear the brunt of economic hardships. In an effort to make life bearable for rural communities, Amai Mnangagwa on 30 November 2018 launched a goat-rearing project in Masvingo Province where she donated 1 000 goats to orphanages to kick-start the project. The project was launched on 30 November 2018.

Launching the project, the First Lady said "Ndauya neproject iyi yekutanga ndichiiparurira kuno kuMasvingo. Project (iyi) inoita kuti itichingetere vana vari kumahomes. Zvichaita kuti vana vabatsirikane. I have brought 1 000 goats and they are for all the districts in Masvingo".  Goat meat is a delicacy among some Arab countries whose demand stands at above two million goats per year. The success of this project would see the uplifting of rural communities.

Having realised that when it comes to putting food on the table for rural communities, the burden lies on the shoulders of women, the First Lady planned a programme where she interfaces with the spouses of Chiefs across the country. The programme entails holding meetings with the target group and set parameters for the project in order to launch large scale empowerment programmes for both girls and women at community level. One such meeting was held at State House on 15 February 2019 for those from Mashonaland Central, East and West Provinces.

Launching the programme, the First Lady urged communities to work together.

 "Let us work together for the betterment of our communities. You should actively participate. You are Angels of Hope yourselves. I am going to start a goat rearing project. I will start it with you. We all have a role to play in the development of our communities I would like to work with you on social cohesion, ending girl child marriages, rape cases, gender based violence, promotion of cleanliness, and having viable community guidance in promoting food security and ending prostitution," she said.

On 27 February 2019, the First Lady shifted her focus to the education sector when she launched the integrated environmental schools project for Bulawayo Province at KG V1 School in Bulawayo. The thrust of the programme is to promote environmental sustainability in communities. In executing the programme, Amai Mnangagwa would work closely with the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) and the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA).The benefits of the programme include promoting nutrition and environmental cleanliness. This also dovetails with President Emmerson Mnangagwa's national cleanup campaign.

Of late, cancer has become one of the deadly killer diseases. In that regard, the First Lady has been tirelessly urging women across the country to get tested for breast and cervical cancer.

When there was an impasse between junior medical doctors and Government, Amai Mnangagwa as a mother took it upon herself to hear their concerns with a view to encouraging dialogue which had stalled.
In all honesty, if someone has championed all these projects which are beneficial to the society, that person cannot be said to be a bad person. There are some malcontents out there who just want to tarnish the good name of Amai Mnangagwa for no good reason.

Source - Elijah Chihota
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