First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa yesterday handed over a fully-furnished three-bedroomed house she built for a widow, Gogo Esnath Chashaya-Mapfuvamhandu, in Dahwa Village near Karanda Mission Hospital in Mt Darwin.
Gogo Mapfuvamhandu (80) is only left with one child out of her eight children, but is taking care of her 15 orphaned grandchildren.
The First Lady met Gogo Mapfuvamhandu last year in February when she was launching her cancer screening programme at Karanda Hospital.
Touched by her plight, the First Lady offered to build decent accommodation for the widow.
“I visited Gogo Mapfuvamhandu last year and she narrated the story of her life to me,” said the First Lady.
“I was touched and decided to provide decent accommodation for her so that she can take care of her grandchildren with ease.
“I did this not because I hail from Mashonaland Central, but because I saw that there was need for assistance. The small things that I do for others also give me joy. I will do the same in other provinces around the country.
“The elderly are our counsellors. We go to them with our troubles seeking their wisdom. They gave birth to us and they lead us. It is not a big house, but it is decent enough to ensure that she has peace of mind knowing she has a roof for all her grandchildren.”
The First Lady appealed to Government to assist Karanda Mission Hospital because it serves the whole country.
“We know that it’s a mission hospital serving the whole country,” she said. “If possible, the Government should assist them in small ways so that they add to what they have.
“I want to thank Dr Paul Thistle. He has a history of saving lives in Mashonaland Central. He started at Howard Hospital before joining Karanda Hospital. He saves not only people from Mashonaland Central, but the whole country. I want to see a positive change in the lives of women and children. I want to warn men that marrying off your young daughters when you go for beer drinking is a crime. The bill is now there and it is only waiting to sail through Parliament.”
Minister of State for Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs Senator Monica Mavhunga thanked the First Lady.
“You are dealing with issues of inheritance, child marriages and cancer screening,” she said.
“Today we see you being concerned with the day-to-day living of people. The love and education you give us as a country makes us proud. We thank Government for its assistance. We are receiving 3 204 tonnes of Government food aid. However, due to drought, we need more grain.”
Chief Dotito thanked the First Lady for bringing foodstuffs, including mealie-meal, cooling oil, blankets rice and sugar for the less privileged in the community.
Gogo Mapfuvamhandu was at a loss of words at the kind gesture by the First Lady.
“You have consoled me,” she said. “I lost my whole family, but I know it is the will of God. May the grace of God follow you.”