Friday, 15 October 2021

FIRSTLADY IN RUSSIA

 FIRST Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, is in Russia  to attend the Third Eurasian Women’s Forum, and had a heart-to-heart discussion with the Speaker of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Madam Valentina Matviyenko where they discussed issues of mutual interest, her philanthropic work, students scholarships, Covid-19 and investment in Zimbabwe among other issues.

The meeting which took place on the sidelines of the forum, was held in a warm, relaxed and friendly environment with the Federation Council Speaker showing a keen interest in exploring partnerships with the First Lady’s Angel of Hope Foundation.

 Amai Mnangagwa was invited to the Third Eurasian Women’s Forum in recognition of her philanthropic work a sign that her hard work has reached far and wide thus getting International acclaim.

The Third Eurasian Women’s forum an international women’s platform aimed at promoting the women’s agenda in line with sustainable development, was officially opened by the Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday.

In the meeting, the Federation Council Speaker and the First Lady happily shook hands, embraced and had photographs taken together.

Madam Matviyenko actually hugged the First Lady and jokingly remarked: “I know we are all Covid-19 free” before they had a woman to woman talk.

Delegates attending the forum are being tested for Covid-19 daily.

The Federation Council Speaker readily accepted an invitation that was extended to her by the First Lady to visit Zimbabwe and have a first hand account of the Zimbabwean experience.

“I would love to visit Zimbabwe and all arrangements would be made through the correct diplomatic protocols. We look forward to further cooperation and continued partnership between Zimbabwe and Russia. We are exploring other areas of assistance,” she said.

The speaker said more Russian companies were keen to invest in Zimbabwe and this dovetails with President Mnangagwa’s “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra.

Also on discussion was the issue of Zimbabwean students on scholarships to Russia to be increased from 65 to 80 per year.

So far, nearly 300 Zimbabwean students are studying on scholarships in Russia.

In her heart-warming remarks, Madam Matviyenko described Zimbabwe as a reliable partner of Russia on the African continent.

“2021 marks 40 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. In recent years our interaction has been progressing and we are interested in developing the entire range of bilateral relations. We attach great importance to the inter-parliamentary cooperation and look forward to its further development,” she said.

The Federation Council speaker said she was happy with the work the First Lady was doing in the country and they would discuss more about her Angel of Hope Foundation.

Through her foundation, the First Lady told the speaker, she was encouraging women who failed to complete their education for various reasons to go back to school saying that was another tool which was important in empowering women.

Amai Mnangagwa also told her that apart from the Covid-19 issues which Russia assisted Zimbabwe, she was also raising awareness in communities countrywide on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) urging people to undergo regular medical check-ups to allow early diagnosis and treatment of these ailments to curb avoidable deaths.

“I would like to thank the Russian Government for standing with Zimbabwe in this Covid-19 era where Zimbabwe received the first vaccine from Russia in away to protect Zimbabwean citizens. This shows Russia’s humanity and willingness to assist others who are in need,” she said. The Federation Council Speaker added that Russia had filed a request for the production of Covid-19 vaccines in Zimbabwe as a major show of cooperation between the two countries. Herald

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