By Staff Reporter
FIRST Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has told a Russian television channel RT TV she used to wash clothes and till land for elderly villagers in Chirumanzu-Zibagwe constituency during her days as Member of Parliament (MP).
Mnangagwa, who decided against keeping the constituency after her husband Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ascent to president in 2017 said her Angel of Hope Foundation was created to support less privileged members of Zimbabwe’s communities.
The foundation, which has been enjoying heavy but controversial coverage by state controlled media, has become one of the platforms she has been using to ‘teach women to cook, encourage them not to engage in gender based violence’ among other issues.
A former editor at The Herald, Tichaona Zindoga is on record saying she demands to be in the paper daily, chooses reporters to cover her events and has authority to decide on pictures used for articles.
“I thought of coming up with this foundation so as to see how I can help people in the rural and urban areas as they are living different lives,” said Mnangagwa.
“I used to help the grannies back home when I was still very young. I once became an MP in one of the constituencies in my country and found myself doing that as well, looking after the elderly doing their laundry, working in their fields before I was a first lady.
“I would gather all the women to work for their families and all that is still going on.
“It is in me, and when I do it I do it wholeheartedly, I do not pretend, I was born with it and that is why I started doing it at a very young age.”
Founded in 2018, the foundation was one of many civil society organisations (CSOs) shutdown by Harare Provincial Development Co-ordinator (PDC) Tafadzwa Muguti in 2021 in a blanket ban on non-compliant non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
This followed a disputed directive for all of them to furnish his office with their registration papers, yearly plans and sources of income.