Richard Muponde Gwanda Correspondent
VICE President Phelekezela Mphoko yesterday donated 30 tonnes of rice, 25 boxes of cooking oil and 10 bales of clothes to elderly people in Gwanda. The donation was made during International Day for Older Persons commemorations at Gwanda People’s Home. The day was commemorated under the theme “Tapping the contribution of older persons in society.” Addressing the elderly and delegates, VP Mphoko, who was the guest of honour, urged the young to take good care of the elderly as they were the custodians of ubuthu and an oasis of knowledge and wisdom.
“All the attributes of wisdom are within the elderly people,” he said. “Young people should tap the wisdom and knowledge from them. If we don’t do that we will remain with nothing if they go to the grave.” VP Mphoko said Government was committed to improving the welfare of the elderly.
“It has been said here that we celebrate this day year in and year out, but the focus now is to put programmes that benefit the elderly people,” he said. Speaking at the same event, Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Cde Patrick Zhuwao said his ministry was in the process of drafting policies and programmes that benefited senior citizens.
“We get wisdom and knowledge from you,” he said.
“We are told that in the Bible the wisest person was King Solomon and his advisors were the elderly. The elderly we have here and in the country are banks of wisdom and knowledge and they link us to the present and the past.” Cde Zhuwao said the elderly were privileged to have President Mugabe, who listened to their concerns.
“President Mugabe is an international liberator who fought for this country’s freedom and that of Africa as a whole,” he said.
“He did that after listening to the elderly of his time and those of the First Chimurenga. I am grateful that I have started my work today (as the new Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare) with these elderly people. I am sure I leave this place full of wisdom and knowledge.”
The event was attended by the newly appointed Minister of State responsible for Matabeleland South Cde Aaron Maboyi Ncube, MPs, senior citizens and Government officials.
Zimbabwe started commemorating the day in 2015.