Tendai Rupapa in CHIMANIMANI
There was jubilation as scores of women from Chimanimani who were affected by Cyclone Idai-induced floods, leaving them with virtually nothing valuable, received kitchen utensils worth thousands of dollars mobilised by First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa.
The First Lady partnered women from various churches among other well-wishers in the “Poto neNdiro” campaign.
And it was a happy culmination as yesterday, the First Lady and women from various churches including Pastors, Bishops and Overseers who travelled from Harare, converged at Machongwe Business Centre to hand over the utensils, amid song and dance.
The gathering ululated, sang and danced, thanking Amai Mnangagwa and the women of cloth for the kind gesture.
In her address, Amai Mnangagwa said after visits to the Cyclone Idai-hit areas, she was touched by the heart-rending reports of families that were left without anything to use even for cooking.
“After noticing that these people were in dire need of kitchen utensils, ndakaona kuti handingazvigone ndega and made a passionate plea to churches and they all heard my plea,” she said.
“The churches came together for a good cause and said Amai tinomira nemi.
“We then mobilised all these things. These women actually brought sacks of kitchen utensils carrying them on their heads to our meeting place. Vakatakura mikwende yese iyi, shuwa uku kubata kwaMwari.”
The First Lady thanked all the congregants who donated.
“I want to thank all the churches which heeded my call. It was love for their disadvantaged fellow Zimbabweans that drove them to do so.
“I want to thank these women nekuti vakaita izvi vachifunga hama dzedu dzinova imi uye they left the comfort of their homes to be with us here today.”
Said the First Lady, “By coming together with a helping hand, you have shown the spirit of unity and love.
“Kune zvakaitika kunzvimbo ino nedzimwe nzvimbo dzakawirwa nedambudziko iri tinongozvivhunza kuti zvakauya sei asi tinongoti hatingatongere Mwari.”
The churches applauded the First Lady for her efforts with representatives taking turns to thank her for her love.
They described her as a unifier who has every citizen at heart.
AFM’s National Lady Secretary, Pastor Farai Musasa said what the First Lady did would go a long way in assisting the families that lost everything when the devastating cyclone struck.
“Following the disaster, Amai sent a call for help and we jumped in to assist and mobilised the kitchen utensils,” she said.
“As churches and individuals we were only focusing on food and clothes such that we turned a blind eye on the kitchen utensils, but today we want to thank the First Lady who led from the front in mobilising these kitchen utensils through her ‘Poto neNdiro’ campaign.”
Representing Mugodhi Apostolic Church, Mrs Rebbeca Mugodhi said the First Lady’s kind heart drove her to be part of those giving a helping hand.
“She is a true mother of the nation who always preaches the gospel of unity and love.
“Through her foundation she has touched so many lives. We will continue to support her.
Madzimai Veronica Kwati from Johane Masowe weChishanu-Jerusalem and Zaoga’s Overseer Eunice Matsikinyeri said they would continue mobilising more kitchen utensils for all affected people through the First Lady, adding that they had seen the need.
81-year-old Gogo Hazel Muchayendepi could not hide her joy, praising the First Lady and all those who contributed towards the good cause.
She said all her valuables including kitchen utensils were wiped away by the floods hence the donation came at the right time.
The First Lady also conducted a ground-breaking ceremony at a place where a community hall will be constructed through Angel of Hope Foundation and its partners.
She said the community hall will help the community to be self-reliant.
“I came up with the idea of a community hall so that women in this area would utilise it for their income generating projects vachidzidziswa mabasa emaoko,” Amai Mnangagwa said.
“The community hall will be equipped with an assortment of machinery that includes sewing, knitting and welding machines among others kuitira kuti mhuri dzione chinovararamisa.
“We will also bring in experts to train them on various skills and the hall will enable the community to sustain themselves without depending on hand-outs. It would not be for an individual, but should benefit everyone.”
Minister of State for Manicaland Province Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba appreciated the First Lady’s kind gesture of remembering the people of Chimanimani.
Also present were Deputy Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Jenipher Mhlanga and National Assembly member for Chimanimani East Joshua Sacco.