Women should be role models: First Lady
Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Reporter—
First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe has urged women to be resilient during current economic hardships and continue working hard for the betterment of their children and the nation. Speaking during a tour of Gushungo Holdings and her other projects in Mazowe where she was hosting Namibian First Lady Monica Geingos, Amai Mugabe said through hard work, she was successfully running her projects.
“I believe that where there is a will there is a way. Women should not sit on their laurels but work hard so that they can be role models not only to their biological daughters but all the daughters in the country,” said Amai Mugabe.
She said she wanted to be a role model for all women in Zimbabwe and Africa.
“I am your First Lady and I do not want to let you down. Against all odds, we have managed to put up these projects. We are under siege with the illegal sanctions imposed on us, but we never looked back. As women of Zimbabwe, we must lead the way and the men should follow,” she said.
She said although women were traditionally marginalised in empowerment programmes, times have changed.
Amai Mugabe said women of today must learn to fend for their families via business initiatives.
She said her successful work in Mazowe was a clear testimony to her hard work.
“I am a black woman who can equally or even do much better than our detractors,” said Amai Mugabe.
She said her projects, which started in 2000 during the national land reform programme, had since grown from a Children’s Home to include a primary and secondary school.
She said there were plans to establish a university.
The children’s home has 92 orphans.
The primary and secondary schools have also attracted international students from South Africa and Equitorial Guinea.
She is finalising installation of state-of-the-art boys and girls boarding facilities.
She said contrary to media reports that she forcibly took away villagers’ land in Mazowe, the villagers were in fact allocated alternative land.
Amai Mugabe said Namibia and Zimbabwe should continue working together as they had a lot to share.
“They reported it as if it was a bad thing but this is what we are doing with the land,” she said of the land reform.
“We want to continue forging ties with Namibia. We have a lot to share and we would like to visit Namibia and also see what you are doing there,” she said.
Namibian First Lady Mrs Geingos applauded the work being done by Amai Mugabe, particularly for the less privileged.
Mrs Geingos said as the First Lady of Zimbabwe, Amai Mugabe was an exemplary leader.
“Power comes with responsibilities. You must utilise the power you have to assist the less privileged. You must continue with the good work,” said Mrs Geingos.
She said the foreign media had talked a lot about Amai Mugabe’s social life but little about the good work that she does for her country.
“We have heard a lot about her clothes, about her hair but little about this work,” she said.
Mrs Geingos, who showered the children from the home with presents, also expressed appreciation for the hospitality shown by President Mugabe and his wife Amai Mugabe since their arrival.
Mrs Geingos was accompanied by her Minister of Gender Equality and Child Care, Doreen Siyoka, Namibian ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ms Balbina Daes Piennar and several Government officials.
Gender and Women Affairs Minister Nyasha Chikwinya, Mashonaland Central provincial affairs Minister Advocate Martin Dinha, Industry and Commerce deputy Minister Chiratidzo Mabuwa and several female captains of industry attended the function.