FIRST Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa has reportedly grabbed Mushamukadzi Foundation, a charitable organisation founded by Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga’s wife, Marry, to avoid being overshadowed in her philanthropict work by the former model.
On Saturday, Marry officially handed over the organisation to Auxillia at a glamorous function held at Borrowdale Brooke Golf Course attended by both President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Chiwenga, senior government, Zanu PF officials and foreign delegates.
Auxillia, who runs Angel of Hope Foundation formed early this year is expected to use both charities to drum up support for Mnangagwa by doling out goodies to the needy ahead of this year’s polls.
According to insiders privy to the developments, the two organisations were brought under one leader following fears that the two women could clash as they competed for space to showcase their charitable work.
In her address at the handover ceremony, Marry however, denied reports that she had been forced to surrender the charitable organisation to Auxilia, telling delegates that they had mutually agreed that Mushamukadzi Foundation be under the stewardship of the First Lady to avoid duplication of roles.
“I don’t know where you are getting such information and the motive of the people peddling such malicious rumours. As I said at the dinner yesterday, (Saturday), we have all agreed as a team that the First Lady inherit the work we have taken all the six years,” she said.
However, sources maintained it was a product of shuttle diplomacy that pressured Marry to give in.
“There is a lot of politics at hand that led to the handing over of Mushamukadzi Foundation to the First Lady,” the source said.
“The issue is too sensitive such that the two parties are trying their best to be diplomatic in the eyes of the public. Just imagine, can someone just handover her charity projects that have been in place for six years, just like that.
“This is a very sensitive issue and as a sign of respect to the First Family and avoid unnecessary competition, Marry had no choice, but to handover the foundation to the First Lady’s Angel of Hope Foundation.”
In her acceptance speech, Auxillia saluted Marry for her sterling charity work which included raising awareness on cancer and providing educational support for women.
“I accept to be patron of Mushamukadzi Charitable Foundation. This is a great responsibility and I am committed. I am privileged to be part of a motivation and such oriented team of Angel of Hope and Mushamukadzi,” she said.
“They (Mushamukadzi Charitable Foundation) have worked so hard for the past six years in assisting the young, the old, the weak and the strong. I am delighted that I will be working with a big team and it will enable us to perform diligently and easier.”
Speaking at the same event, Mnangagwa said the Mushamukadzi Charitable Foundation call for cancer levy was a noble idea that needs to be considered.
“You (Marry) have appealed to my government, you appealed to me, but I have a government, you have appealed to me to introduce a cancer levy, the idea is extremely noble, so I will introduce it,” he said.
“It’s an issue I will look at and see whether we can do that because it will go a long way for supporting and helping our population to access facilities which are denied to them as a result of none availability of resources.”