Republic of Zimbabwe Vice President Joice Mujuru with First Lady Grace Amai Mugabe. The Southern African nation has been in the throws of fighting imperialism., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Women pillars of family, says First Lady
Tuesday, 28 May 2013 00:00
Freeman Razemba Senior Reporter
WOMEN are pillars of family institution in African societies and play a critical role in social and economic development of their nations, the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe has said.
She was speaking at the Musha Mukadzi Zimbabwe Armed Forces Foundation Invitational Golf Dinner in Harare last Friday.
“It is indisputable that women are the strongest pillars of the home, unifiers and above all, life givers through their God-given attribute of child bearing,” said Amai Mugabe.
Amai Mugabe, who was appointed patron of the Musha Mukadzi Zimbabwe Armed Forces Foundation by the national chairperson Mrs Mary Chiwenga, the wife of the Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces General Constantine Chiwenga, said she accepted with humility the invitation to become part of the Foundation.
The foundation, which was formed in 1995, is a non-profit making organisation.
It is the brainchild of Gen Chiwenga when he was then Commander of the Zimbabwe National Army aimed at empowering army women and wives of members of the force.
Amai Mugabe commended Gen Chiwenga for his never-say-die spirit to ensure the association continued functioning.
“It is evident that this man had a great vision for the association as we see the never-say-die spirit by re-igniting the previous association’s objectives and founding principles in the Foundation,” said Amai Mugabe.
The foundation, she said, would strive to ensure that the accommodation crisis facing the armed forces, the retired and war veterans families was alleviated.
“I am aware that we have war veterans who were injured during the struggle and are facing financial constraints in acquiring land to build homes of their own.
“We envisage seeing the foundation becoming a rallying point to patriotic citizens with a heart to assist those who fought for our freedom so that they do not become destitute in their motherland,” she said.
Amai Mugabe said the foundation also aimed to open windows of opportunities for families in the armed forces.
She said the economic sanctions imposed on the country by detractors continued to threaten the sanctity of the family unit which was the foundation of the people. Due to this, she said, they could not stand by and watch the family unit collapse.
“Our armed forces have not been spared from this situation hence the efforts to intervene through this Foundation,” she said.
Mrs Chiwenga thanked Amai Mugabe for accepting her invitation to become the foundation’s national patron.
She said as women they would continue fighting for their land, their rights as well as their hard-earned freedom.
“We are where we are today because of opportunities we are given, let us maintain our heritage for a better tomorrow, for a better history for our children but more so, for the heroes and heroines who sacrificed their lives so that we could be free,” she said.
She said the foundation had so far donated food hampers worth thousands of dollars to the underprivileged in the society. It has also paid fees for the vulnerable children.
Mrs Chiwenga also took the opportunity to salute her husband for bringing her into the military family.
“I now have a better vision of what Zimbabwe must be, I can see clearly now. I am also glad that I have a husband who cares for the well being of other women besides that of my own,” said Mrs Chiwenga.
Speaking at the same occasion, Gen Chiwenga said the foundation’s vision remained that of empowering women through intellectual, economic, social, psychological and any other forms of advancement.
He said related to this vision was the need to engender a sense of responsibility towards the needy among the foundation’s members and the society.
“The virtues that we want our women to attain include but are not limited to, a productive, trustworthy, hard working, good planning, delightful, unselfish and above all a successful woman,” he said.
Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, Lands and Rural Settlement Minister Herbert Murerwa, Environment and Natural Resources Management Minister Francis Nhema, Tourism and Hospitality Minister Walter Mzembi, senior Government officials, Malawi Army Commander Gen Henry Odille and officials from Botswana Defence Forces and Zambia Army attended the function.
Captains of industry and commerce, prominent lawyer Mr Jonathan Samukange and Trauma Centre and Hospital chairman and chief executive officer Dr Vivek Solanki also graced the occasion.