Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
FIRST Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has challenged corporates to employ women and people with disabilities to eradicate poverty and develop communities.
The First Lady was speaking in Bulawayo yesterday at the opening of Sai Mart Lobengula Street supermarket in the city centre run by Industry and Commerce Deputy Minister Raj Modi’s PintailTrading Private Limited.
Amai Mnangagwa could not attend the event due to other commitments but was represented by Seke-Chikomba MP Cde Tatenda Mavetera, who spoke on her behalf.
PintailTrading Private Limited used the opportunity to donate grocery hampers to the elderly and people with disabilities.
Amai Mnangagwa said to uplift communities, the vulnerable members of society need real empowerment which includes job opportunities.
“The retail sector remains a critical link in supply chains of goods and services, employment creation and generally enhancing the livelihoods of people. May I take this opportunity to encourage local producers to adequately supply high-quality products to our local supermarkets as that will minimise imported products on the shelves. While we fully appreciate the good work being done by PintailTrading Private Limited in assisting the needy in the community, I’m urging PintailTrading Private Limited and other corporates to empower women, the youth and those living with disabilities through employment so that they become self-reliant,” said Amai Mnangagwa.
The First Lady encouraged PintailTrading Private Limited to offer competitive prices which will attract customers to its business.
She said women should be placed in leadership positions as they have proved their abilities to lead whenever they are given opportunities.
Amai Mnangagwa said the opening of the shop has seen more than 100 people getting employed by the company which is set to open another branch in the western suburbs.
She called on businesses to innovate and remain relevant in the face of Covid-19 which has disrupted business operations.
The First Lady commended Deputy Minister Modi for giving back to the community through his retail business.
“Through his supermarket business he has done so much for the community and this includes donation of two ambulances, improvements in the education sector through sponsorships of sports for schools in the high-density suburbs. He has now renovated ablution facilities at Greenfield Primary School and he has also donated to the needy mainly the elderly, orphans and other vulnerable groups.
“He has also been instrumental in the rehabilitation of some business premises that were destroyed during the regrettable 2019 January protests. He has undertaken to rehabilitate some of the damaged properties. Two of the branches now operate under the Sai Mart supermarket brand in Nketa 6 and Emakhandeni suburbs and the owners of these projects now get earnings through rentals,” she said.
The event was also attended by Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube who commended the First Lady for the philanthropic work she is doing throughout the country.
She said Cde Mavetera was carefully chosen to represent the First Lady as she understands women empowerment issues and Amai Mnangagwa’s vision to empower the vulnerable in communities. — @nqotshili