Health Minister Moyo defends First Lady’s meddling in govt affairs

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By Anna Chibamu

HEALTH and Child Care Minister Obadiah Moyo says those who are against the First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa’s philanthropic work should think otherwise because she has done so much to help the needy countrywide especially in the health sector.

Moyo was speaking in parliament this past week while responding to Mbizo MP, Settlement Chikwinya, who had asked what business did President Mnangagwa’s wife have in the operations of government’s medicines procurement entity NatPharm.

Asked Chikwinya during parliament’s question and answer session, “With regards to the National Pharmaceutical Company, would the honourable minister explain to the House what role individuals outside government structures have in the operation of NatPharm.

“Recently we saw the First Lady directing operations at NatPharm to the extent that she called the Minister to the State House on a Sunday together with his board to direct them and to explain why there were shortages of drugs. Do private individuals have the capacity to simply go into NatPharm and direct operations?”

In his response, Moyo said the First Lady deserved all the respect considering the “tremendous work” she has been doing. He declared she cannot be stopped.

“…The First Lady’s work is philanthropic. She is the ambassador for health and child care. She was always the ambassador for maternal and child care. She has done tremendous amount of work for the country.

“Without any doubt, the First Lady has managed to acquire on behalf of the Ministry and on behalf of all of us to acquire equipment which we could have never been able to acquire.

“She has worked right through. She is a hard worker who cannot be stopped.

“In actual fact, as the Minister of Health and Child Care, I do encourage her to continue assisting us as much as possible.”

Moyo added, “There is no foreign currency but, she manages through her foundation to gather equipment for us from America, Europe and Japan. What more do you want? She is there for us as a mother who is looking after the whole family and making sure that the health of Zimbabweans is well looked after in a much better position. There is no need to condemn the First Lady for her good works.”

However, some sections of the society especially the opposition MDC feel the First Lady’s work should be confined to humanitarian and not to direct cabinet ministers on how to do their jobs, something they feel was the President’s prerogative.

Some media reports recently alleged that some workers at State House were complaining about the First Lady being too much involved in their work yet they have their own supervisors.