THE rise in cases of sexual abuse of minors, rights violations and increase in homeless children should force the nation to search its moral compass, First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has said.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Speaking to NewsDay, Mnangagwa said she has been working in her Zibagwe-Chirumanzu constituency with traditional leaders and women to end the scourge of child marriages and abuse, while promoting to access to education.
“These are issues that I have been tackling in my personal and political life from years ago, as a Member of Parliament. I engaged chiefs in my constituency so that we could deal with child marriages disguised as cultural norms and practices and one such way was to empower women through projects so that they are not forced into marrying their children early,” she said.
Mnangagwa started informal empowerment banks in her rural constituency for women, which has seen many being able to send their children to school.
She said the current visits to children’s homes, hospitals and prisons, where she is donating goodies, were meant to raise awareness on the challenges faced by those institutions, with the hope that the nation, captains of industry and government would take stock and make necessary interventions.
“I did not start caring because I am now First Lady. This is work I have always been doing, but not at a national scale.
“Doing this does not mean I have the solutions and that my visit will end the problems, but it is my hope that because of my position this will galvanise stakeholders to take notice and act. I am humbly appealing to churches, business and the nation at large to join hands so that we make children safer,” Mnangagwa said.
The First Lady has been touring children’s homes, prisons and hospitals where she has been donating goodies since her husband Emmerson Mnangagwa became President in November last year following the ouster of Robert Mugabe after a military intervention.