Tendai Rupapa Senior Reporter
NEMCHEM and Gain Cash and Carry have heeded First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa’s call for corporates to step in and boost Zimbabwe’s response to Covid-19, which has killed thousands of people globally.
The First Lady, who is the country’s health and child care ambassador, has been mobilising resources to fight Covid-19, as well as spreading awareness on the pandemic to the elderly and vulnerable communities countrywide.
Nemchem donated two walk-in sanitising booths, 2 000 litres of hand sanitiser, 1 000 litres of cleaning detergents, 1 000 litres of water purification chemicals and 1 000 point of lay chickens, while Gain Cash and Carry donated an assortment of foodstuffs to Angel of Hope Foundation for onward distribution to areas of need.
The First Lady, through her foundation, handed over one booth, 1 000 litres of detergents and 1 000 litres of sanitisers to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, which is one of the country’s Covid-19 designated centres.
Handing over the goods to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, Angel of Hope Foundation deputy chair Mrs Chipo Mtasa, speaking on behalf of the First Lady, expressed hope that the goods would ease the plight of patients and workers.
“As you are aware, Parirenyatwa is a Covid-19-designated facility and the donation of a sanitisation booth is going to assist in the essential sanitisation and entry procedures,” she said.
“This booth is a very good product that will assist patients, doctors, nurses and all personnel that are using this facility to be able to be sanitised and for them to be able to conduct their duties, while realising that they are safe.
“These are the essential elements in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and we believe that this will go a very long way for Parirenyatwa to be a really established Covid-19 centre.”
Through her Angel of Hope Foundation, the First Lady has always had programmes that assist not just hospitals, but the generality of Zimbabweans.
“We want to thank Nemchem for the donation, which will definitely assist in advancing our programmes to do better and ease the plight of all communities countrywide,” said Mrs Mtasa.
Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals chief executive Mr Ernest Manyau said the donation came at a time when the institution had completed a refurbishment programme to enable it to handle Covid-19 cases. He praised the First Lady and her foundation for playing a leading role in mobilising resources for the hospital.
“As frontliners, when we talk about Covid-19, most people are looking up to the health sector to be able to mitigate and to be able to support those who are affected and infected,” said Mr Manyau.
“Angel of Hope has come in with that appreciation that says, yes we will not forget you.”
Nemchem representative Mr Stephene Makuwa said the challenges brought by the pandemic called for a joint approach.
“As Nemchem, we believe that it is important to work with communities that we are operating in, hence we saw it fit to bring this donation through Angel of Hope Foundation,” he said.
“We have seen the work that our First Lady and her foundation is doing in the communities around us and we think that their coming on board through the various interventions that they carry out will help alleviate the suffering that is there in communities.
“We are complementing the work being done by Amai, especially in this environment where we are faced by Covid-19.”
Gain Cash and Carry human resources executive Ms Leonet Mavura said her company was touched by the work of the First Lady, hence the decision to step in.
They donated 10 tonnes of mealie meal, two tonnes sugar beans, laundry soap, boxes of cooking oil and salt which the First Lady will donate to needy people, especially the elderly and the vulnerable groups.
“We are responding to a call by the First Lady and we have witnessed what Amai has been doing with the Angel of Hope Foundation, so we felt compelled to assist, especially now when the nation is struggling with the effects and impact of Covid-19,” said Ms Mavura.
“We felt there are vulnerable groups that are among us that need assistance and our First Lady has been working hard in assisting them.”
The First Lady paid tribute to Nemchem for offering a hand to her Angel of Hope Foundation whose main principles were to help the marginalised to have a fair chance at attaining better lives.
“We are passionate about the access to healthcare for those in the remote areas and the empowerment of the elderly, youth, women and children,” she said.
“In this period of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has come to our attention that the elderly are the most vulnerable group. I am very happy that Nemchem has decided to donate Covid-19 response material in the form of sanitisers, waterguards and sanitising walk-in units.
“This donation will go a long way in assisting frontline workers, the residents of remote areas, the underprivileged and the marginalised.
“Nemchem has also pledged 1 000 chickens to the Angel of Hope Foundation poultry project. The project is aimed at empowering communities by engaging in an income generating initiative, thereby ameliorating their living standards.”
Amai Mnangagwa said it was uplifting to receive help from corporates since her organisation’s mission was to touch lives.
She said her foundation’s core mandate was three fold — to support vulnerable populations in accessing health products and services that will enable them to lead healthy lives; to support disadvantaged women and youths in gaining resources they need to be income secure and earn a dignified life and to respond to communities by addressing both economic and social vulnerabilities to enable them to cope with economic demands in life.
The First Lady said the groceries from Gain Cash and Carry would go a long way, as the demand for the presence of Angel of Hope Foundation was increasing countrywide.
“We are grateful for this gesture,” she said. “Thank you once again for this donation. We look forward to engaging you in other pursuits.”