Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
THE First Lady, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa, has assured elderly people of better living conditions, saying the Government, through renewed economic policies, is working tirelessly to end the country’s financial challenges.
She was addressing elderly people who included the spouses of late national heroes at the Large City Hall in Bulawayo yesterday before donating blankets and groceries worth thousands of dollars.
The First Lady was accompanied by Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni, Minister of State for Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Judith Ncube and Service Chiefs.
The groceries included rice, sugar, cooking oil and mealie-meal.
Addressing the gathering, Amai Mnangagwa pledged to take care of the elderly, saying they were a blessing to the nation and it was important for them to be taken care of at all times.
“Our elderly people are the ones who suffer the most when it comes to accessing basic necessities.
“I’m here to encourage the elderly to be hopeful because our Government is making frantic efforts to get us out of the financial challenges we’re facing as a country,” said the First Lady.
The elderly people, she added, are a blessing to the nation and their wisdom is important to guide the country in the direction it should take.
“We’re grateful that God has blessed us with their presence. It’s important that in our Government departments, our elderly people be treated with the respect that they deserve.
“The new dispensation, under President Mnangagwa’s leadership, places value in the concept of servant leadership and an open door policy where the needs of the people are attended to,” said Amai Mnangagwa.
She urged all Government departments to become more accessible to the elderly and assist them to the best of their capabilities.
The First Lady said she was aware of the difficult circumstances that the elderly people faced in their different communities.
“We have situations where our grandmothers are left with the responsibility of bringing up grandchildren because of the tragedy of parents who may have passed away due to HIV-related illnesses.
“The Government together with health institutions are working together to ensure that programmes are put in place to prevent the unchecked spread of infections and to ensure that those who are living with HIV live longer and healthier lives,” said Amai Mnangagwa.
She added that this will ensure that parents are present to look after their children and the burden on the older generation is lessened.
“Together we can make a difference as we work together towards better living conditions for all the people of Zimbabwe including our elderly and vulnerable people.
“Some of the struggles that we find ourselves in as younger generations are caused by the fact that we didn’t ask for direction from the elderly people who have experience,” said the First Lady.
Earlier, she visited former First Lady Janet Banana and wife to the late war veteran and national hero Cde Dumiso Dabengwa, Zodwa.
The First Lady also visited and donated groceries to war veterans Cdes David “Sharp Shoot” Moyo, Aaron Ndlovu and Jane Ngwenya to show her appreciation for their contribution during the liberation struggle.