Nyore Madzianike Senior Reporter
FIRST Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa last Friday charmed Mutare when she led the national clean-up from the front for two hours. President Mnangagwa last year declared the first Friday of each month the National Environment Cleaning Day.
The First Lady, who is also the national environmental patron, started off cleaning at Sakubva Bus Terminus where she took commuters, vendors and other passers-by by surprise. Shop owners and their workers also took time off their schedules to catch a glimpse of the First Lady as she led by example with cleaning chores.
Women operating at the fresh produce market constructed by the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Mining Company (ZCDC) were also taken by surprise as Amai Mnangagwa shoved off heaps of litter that had accumulated in front of their stalls.
The First Lady also took the opportunity to remind these women to clean their vicinity to avoid the resurgence of diseases like cholera and typhoid, among others, associated with dirty.
“I am happy to be here for the clean-up, but let this be your daily routine,” she said.
From the bus terminus, the First Lady went to Meikles Park where she addressed hundreds of participants. The First Lady, who was accompanied by Tourism Minister Cde Prisca Mupfumira, was welcomed at Meikles Park by the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba.
In her address, the First Lady said she will work with all stakeholders with a passion to fulfil Section 73 of the Constitution that calls for a clean, safe and healthy environment.
“Every citizen between 10 and 65 years should clean their surroundings, workplaces, religious, educational, recreational and residential premises, vending sites, car parks and road servitudes by picking up litter, sweeping or cleaning waste dumps between 8am and 10am. If a person is above 65 years and is willing to work, they can also participate,” she said.
The First Lady challenged citizens to embrace best cleanliness practices to avoid resurgence of diseases.
“Zimbabwe has witnessed outbreaks of cholera and typhoid, which diseases are associated with unclean environment and resulted in a number of fatalities between 2008 and 2018. I encourage all of us to embrace the best practices and self-regulation as cornerstones to a clean, safe and healthy environment that eradicates the spread of diseases like cholera and typhoid.
“Complementary efforts are required from the general public and local authorities in order to complete the chain of action and ensure participation by all in waste management,” she said.
The First Lady said residents should report sewage bursts timeously and implored the local authorities to respond swiftly to the calls. She called on women and youths to extract value from waste products.
“Be innovative and extract value from waste products. Industries should adopt the extended producer responsibility principle which calls upon all generators of waste to follow their products through their life cycle up to disposal,” she said.
“Manicaland should scale up the clean-up campaign plan and execute it in tandem with the commitment that was stated at the inaugural launch in December 2018. You should influence positive behavioural change in litter handling and management. It is all our responsibility to ensure that we stay in a clean and habitable environment. Let us all embrace and put into practice our theme: ‘Zero tolerance to litter, my environment, my pride,’” she said.
First Lady was impressed by the peace and unity exhibited in Manicaland and pledged to work with everyone regardless of political affiliation.