Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
Communities have been urged to look after the elderly and vulnerable people in society, not just through providing material gifts, but also offering love, respect and emotional support to the custodians of wisdom and knowledge.
The elderly often suffer from neglect while in some cases they are accused of practising witchcraft.
In many communities, the elderly show love to people by looking after their orphaned grandchildren, yet little is being done by society to improve their livelihoods.
First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa, who was on her second visit to spread love and the spirit of caring in Mashonaland Central, yesterday touched the hearts of many in Rushinga as she continues to look at the plight of the elderly, women and girls.
She visited Chimutsa homestead where she was accompanied by Government ministers, senior officials, heads of parastatals and development partners.
At the homestead, she prepared food for the elderly, chiefs and other members of the community.
Amai Mnangagwa did laundry for Gogo Erisa Chimutsa and gave the aged grocery hampers and blankets.
She later went to Chomutukutu Primary School where she donated food hampers, blankets and baby clothes to the vulnerable, who included people with disabilities, pregnant women and adolescent girls.
The First Lady, who is well known for championing girls’ rights gave sanitary ware to 500 girls at five schools in Rushinga.
Amai Mnangagwa, who has also partnered with Potraz, handed over 50 computers to Chomutukutu Primary School, Chomutukutu Secondary School, Gwangwava High School, Magaranhewe Secondary and Masvaure Primary School.
Some of the beneficiaries thanked the First Lady for her kind gesture
Ninety-year-old Mrs Kandawa Chitsuro was charmed by the First Lady’s gesture.
“I am very old,” she said. “I cannot provide for myself. I stay with my grandson and food has been a challenge. I thank the First Lady for looking after the elderly who are deemed by most communities as a burden.”
Her daughter, Mrs Erisa Chimutsa (67), thanked Amai Mnangagwa for the help.
“I look after my mother and when I am sick she will have no one to look up to,” she said.
“My mother is the one who has benefited from the First Lady, but I have also benefited indirectly. I feel so touched because now I know my mother has food and blankets. I was failing to provide for her and the First Lady has done it for me.”
An expecting mother, Mrs Mildred Mutengapasi, said she was happy with the gift she got.
“I am expecting, but did not have enough clothes for the baby,” she said.
“This intervention came at the opportune time.”
Addressing thousands of people at Chomutukutu Primary School, the First Lady pledged to continue assisting the people in remote areas, particularly the elderly, children and people living with disabilities.
Amai Mnangagwa has been involved in different projects in the province including assisting people in Kanyemba.
She has also been spearheading developmental, environmental and health projects countrywide.
“I call upon churches and chiefs and all the people to look after the elderly,” said the First Lady.
“This is not only about providing material things, but also giving them emotional support. You can visit the elderly or even pray for them and it will make a positive impact on their lives.”
The First Lady applauded Potraz for partnering with her.