Tendai Rupapa Senior Reporter
First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa yesterday visited the country’s most marginalised community, the San people, in Plumtree and urged Government to uplift their lives. She said she was disheartened to see the San people living in squalid conditions.
At one homestead, the First Lady could not believe a family of 12 lives in a single hut.
The San community, popularly known as the bushmen, live in Makhulela area, Thwayithwayi village in Bulilima district.
The First Lady noted that the problems faced by the San people were similar to those encountered by the Doma people in Kanyemba.
The San people do not go to school.
They also do not have identity documents.
“What I have seen here is not so different with what I saw in Kanyemba. Their standards of living are the same,” she said.
“They do not have anything and they urgently need help. Ndanga ndichikumbira kana zvichibvira kuti maministries anechekuita nekurarama kwevanhu nekubatsira, anochera maboreholes nekugadzirwa kwemigwagwa, social welfare nekuti kana chikafu chaicho hakuna. I am pleading with them to visit these areas, Thwayithwayi village and Kanyemba and map a way forward.”
The village head, Mrs Matjena Ncube, who took the First Lady around the community showing her their way of living, said ever since they were taken out of the bush in 1993, it was their first time to be visited by someone from a higher office or anyone who is not of their tribe.
“Shuviro yangu neshungu dzangu zvinobvirawo zvekare kuti mukukura kwandakaita ndakakura hupenyu hwakafanana naihwohwu, so I wish to assist others in similar conditions for them to have a better life. Dai Mwari vandibatsira kuti zvandirikushuvira kuita vapindire kuti pave neshanduko mukurarama kwevanhu vakaita seava,” said the First Lady.
Mrs Ncube told the First Lady they were no schools, health care facilities and were living in an arid area and require irrigation schemes.
The First Lady later visited the Sibanda homestead where a small hut is the only structure in the yard.
The solitary hut houses eight people — an elderly Tjipabi Sibanda, her two daughters, three sons and two grandchildren.
The First Lady handed over a borehole for use by the community.
“I have come to interact with you as a mother, daughter and granddaughter so that I get to know you and your way of living so that I will know how best I can assist you,” she said.
“I have noticed that a lot needs to be done here kuti magariro enyu afananane neevamwe vese. I do not want you to live in isolation. You must interact with others.”
The First Lady encouraged women to start projects like gardening.
She urged the San women to desist from giving birth at home and utilise the health facilities.
The First Lady came with a medical team from the Ministry of Health and Child Care who conducted medical check-ups.
She donated groceries, clothing, blankets, books and toys for the children. The community thanked the First Lady for her kindness and love.