First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa Wednesday failed to turn up for a World Health Organisation (WHO) sanctioned event at which she was expected to officiate.
This was despite her having confirmed attendance at the African Traditional Medicine Day commemorated worldwide on August 31.
Security sources told NewZimbabwe.com, organisers of the event were left guessing after the First Lady’s aides said “she was nolonger attending as something urgent had come up.”
In a clear waste of taxpayers money, a tent, red carpet and chairs which had earlier been ferried to the venue in anticipation of VVIP dignitaries, were by 10am, in the middle of the event, being transported back.
Operatives from the President’s Office and Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) details manning the venue, 83 Baines Avenue, were also immediately dispersed.
Sources also confirmed six diplomats, who were scheduled to attend in solidarity, as well as the WHO country representative in Zimbabwe, Stanley Midzi, were called by a senior government official only identified as Ndoro and ordered to snub the event.
Since 2018, ProMetra Zimbabwe, one of the 28 chapters of lnternational, have organised commemorations to mark the day.
One of the founders of ProMetra, Beaven Munyengeterwa, commenting on the First Lady’s no-show at the event, said: “Naturally, the First Lady was the best choice for guest of honour, especially given her toil around things traditional…she failed to attend due to a technical fault.”
A Whatsapp group administered from the Office of the President and Cabinet, had advised media houses of the commemorations and Mnangagwa’s itinerary.
However, despite the snub, proceedings to mark the important day went ahead.
In a speech read on his behalf, Prometra International president, Dr Erick Gbodossou, called on the need for political will in promoting health.
“I say to political decision makers that health, being the basis of all development, must be rooted in our values of civilisation and be the subject of political will.”
Among organisations that attended was the Zimbabwe National Indigenous Practitioners Association (ZINIPA).
This year, the commemorations were held under the theme: “Two Decades of African Traditional Medicine Day, Towards Achieving Universal Health Coverage in Africa.”