NAIROBI – First Lady Margaret Kenyatta today at State House, Nairobi, hosted her visiting Zimbabwe counterpart Auxillia Mnangagwa.
The two first ladies discussed a number of common interest issues among them women empowerment, women and child health, and collaboration between their two offices.
The visiting First Lady expressed her interest to be ‘mentored’ by her host so as to learn and benefit from the wide experiences of her Kenyan counterpart.
“I have come to see and learn. You are my mentor. I want to replicate whatever you are doing here back in my country,” said the new First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa who assumed office after the July 2018 elections in Zimbabwe.
To start her ‘mentorship’ program , the visiting First Lady accompanied her host to Tharaka Nithi County to launch a water treatment plant.
The visitor talked gloriously about the innovative engagements of the Kenyan First Lady’s Beyond Zero initiative and which have been recognized across the world.
These engagements include matters of maternal and child health, women empowerment, the First Lady’s efforts to reduce Mother-to-child HiV infections and the transmission of the virus among Kenyan adolescents.
First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa also spoke proudly about her host’s new and innovative Medical safaris program where local people undergo free screening and treatment for various ailments including cancer and HIV.
“I am here to witness what gives you the motivation to undertake the many transformative initiatives you are involved in. I need your advice. I need to emulate your strengths,” the Zimbabwe First Lady said.
She added: “I have realized that, once women start working, things start moving.”
About her outing to Tharaka Nithi, the visitor said she was keen to learn everything about water treatment and purification after which she would take the idea home.
“I will take the idea home where many people in my country have problems accessing clean water,” said the visiting First Lady, also a former MP .
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta told her visiting counterpart that her motivation and strength emanates from Kenyans who have both embraced and appreciate her efforts.
“I get a lot of support from Kenyans. They appreciate and embrace our programs,” said First Lady Margaret Kenyatta.
The host First Lady accepted an invitation to visit Zimbabwe by her counterpart sometime next year.
Besides their mutual interests on matters of maternal and child health and women empowerment, the two First Ladies also share interests in addressing the plight of marginalized communities, vulnerable segments of the population especially orphans and victims of gender based violence.
The two First Ladies are also keen in addressing the issue of sexual reproductive health rights and the vulnerability of adolescent girls and young women including their equal right to education.
Over the last five years, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has been actively engaged in high level advocacy and awareness creation on health and socio-economic issues touching on women and children through her Beyond Zero initiative.