Tendai Rupapa Senior Reporter
First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa says her programmes, visits to marginalised communities around the country are neither a campaign gimmick nor partisan. She said she was more concerned with the upliftment of neglected communities. The First Lady, who is the founder of a charity organisation, Angel of Hope, has been going around the country reaching out to marginalised communities like the San in Plumtree and the Doma in Kanyemba, getting to know better about their challenges and rendering assistance.
In an interview, the First Lady said her outreach programmes were motivated by the desire to improve the social and economic needs of the poor.
“What I am doing, going around the country interacting with the less privileged, I am not doing this for politics, this is not about a certain political party,” she said.
“I made it clear from the beginning that my programmes are not partisan. I am there to serve everyone despite their political affiliation. I am concerned with the development of marginalised communities in our country.
“If there are people who think this is a political gimmick, may God forgive them because I am doing this for all Zimbabweans who need my assistance. Wherever I am going for these projects, you will not see me wearing party regalia, proof that this is not about politics. Ndirikufamba ndichifara nemhuri yese yemuZimbabwe.”
The First Lady said she decided to visit marginalised communities to get first hand information about their way of life and see how best she can assist them.
She said she was disheartened with what she saw in Thwayithwayi, Plumtree and Kanyemba.
She said she was appraised of the challenges the people in those communities were facing that include lack of health facilities, schools, stationery and food among others.
“When I first came here (Kanyemba) these people had nothing to eat or to wear. I am happy with the progress that I am seeing here. Pakashandwa basa,” she said.
“Pandakauya ndakaona zvakawanda zvaisiririsa, vaive vasina kana zvekudya, life was hard for them. Now things have changed, nekuburikidza nekukumbira kwandakaita rubatsiro uye ndinotenda kune vakabatsira.”
“Here in Kanyemba, Mariga Village, they used to walk several kilometres to the nearest clinic, but we managed to facilitate for the construction of a health post which I officially opened on Tuesday. They now have books in their school library, clean water and graded roads.”
The First Lady also introduced sustainable projects like gardening, orchard and fish farming to the Doma community.
She has, however, appealed to the relevant authorities responsible for welfare issues to intervene and assist the San community the same way they assisted the Doma people.
The majority of the San people do not have identity documents and birth certificates hence they do not know their ages.
“I am appealing to the relevant authority to visit this area and see how best they can assist these people (San) to get identity documents which are important for their identification or school enrolment,” she said.
Angel of Hope Foundation on Tuesday brought a medical team from America which rendered dental services for free to the Kanyemba community.
Doctor Leon Clark and his wife Peggy, commended the First Lady for her role in assisting the less privileged.
Dr Clark said he was going to engage other medical practitioners in America and see how best they can help the people of Zimbabwe through Angel of Hope Foundation.
The First Lady has also been donating an assortment of groceries, kitchen utensils, blankets and shoes, among other goods to the elderly, disabled and other groups.