Driven by her passion to save lives in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic which has killed thousands of people globally, First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa and her teams from Angel of Hope Foundation yesterday descended on the Midlands Province to educate the elderly on ways to protect themselves from the pandemic.
She also spoke strongly against domestic violence, which is rearing its ugly head countrywide during this period when the country is under Covid-19 lockdown, to prevent the spread of the disease.
Amai Mnangagwa donated hand sanitisers, face masks, gloves, disinfectants and knapsack sprayers, to clinics across the district, as well as food hampers for the elderly.
The Angel of Hope Foundation patron visited Nevana Primary School in Gokwe North before proceeding to Tare Secondary School in Gokwe South, while her teams were in Gokwe Central, Gokwe Sesame, Gokwe Nembudziya, Kabuyuni and Chitekete constituencies.
The First Lady is the country’s health ambassador and she is undertaking the visits to provinces as she leads from the front in teaching people about the coronavirus.
The visits come at a time when the elderly and other vulnerable members of the community had run out of food as a result on the ongoing lockdown.
While conducting the lessons in Shona for the benefit of her audience, the First Lady showed her other side as a good teacher through her interactive sessions with the elderly to tackle Covid-19 and domestic violence.
Zimbabwe has witnessed an unprecedented surge in domestic violence since the lockdown was introduced on March 30, prompting Amai Mnangagwa, as the mother of the nation, to speak out against it.
“The police are not our enemies,” she said. “They are our children who teach on peaceful co-existence in the homes. They have a public relations unit which teaches or counsel people without arresting them. So, let us make use of them to stop violence in homes.”
Amai Mnangagwa made the statement after being told that most people did not report domestic violence cases to the police for fear of causing the arrest of their spouses and destroying their marriages.
On coronavirus, she said: “This disease to date has no known cure except practicing good hygiene and observing social distancing. What we are doing here in Zimbabwe is exactly what other nations are doing the world over so as to stop the spread of the virus.
“Already, we have seen this lockdown as helpful because it has helped slow down the rate of infection. It is neither a crime nor a punishment to be asked to stay at home. It is a way of protecting us. We should do as we are told so that we preserve life.”
The First Lady taught the elderly about the importance of following the rules on funerals to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
She said it was important to quarantine returnees who would have come from abroad to protect families, communities and the nation at large.
She further said it was critical for community members to always inform their leaders about visitors.
“We are being reminded to preserve our lives even when our children come from abroad after a long time,” said Amai Mnangagwa.
“The problem we have is of people who lie that they would have been through quarantine and end up spreading the disease.”
After receiving donations for clinics from the First Lady, District Nursing Officer for Gokwe North Caritus Mbombe was full of praises for her donations to the clinic and community.
“We heartily thank the First Lady for giving us sanitisers for use across the district, gloves, knapsack sprayers and face masks which will help protect frontline workers and the community,” said Ms Mbombe. “She has remembered us at a very crucial moment.”
Mbuya Esther Murangani could not hide her joy at having met the First Lady.
“She is a very humble person,” she said. “She speaks so well and the lessons she has given us today will help in maintaining our community healthy and safe from diseases.
“That she thinks about us and spares time to give us food and tips on how to prevent the disease is a good sign of love. May God bless her.”
Sekuru Jeremiah Ndukulani, who participated fully during the First Lady’s teachings, thanked Amai Mnangagwa for her selflessness.
“She gave us food and valuable lessons to protect life,” he said. “Her teachings against domestic violence are important to everyone. We must stop violence and live in peace.”
Touched by the First Lady’s efforts, Cottco Gokwe South and Zim Cotton consortium, donated an assortment of Covid-19 relief items to Angel of Hope Foundation for onward transmission to those in need.
Amai Mnangagwa said she would leave the goods in clinics and the hospital in the area.
Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution in the Midlands Larry Mavima thanked the First Lady for visiting the area, saying much of the time rural communities were left exposed due to knowledge gaps, a vacuum that was now being filled by the First Lady through her awareness programmes.