The matron of the Mbuya Nehanda orphanage centre, Auxillia Chonyera, said vandalism and neglect of the orphanage’s infrastructure after the death of its patron and founder, Sally Mugabe had impacted negatively on the smooth running and safe keeping of orphans. At the moment they cook with firewood as the boiler, which was being used, packed up 10 years ago.
Sally died in 1992 from a kidney ailment.
“We wish if Mai Sally was still alive because she used to provide for the orphanage centre that used to provide for the more than 500 orphaned children we used to keep before her death. We have tried to find assistance from local political leaders but to no avail.
“We have a boiler which ceased to function 10 years ago, and we use firewood to cook for more than 200 children we are currently having. We used to have a truck that used to transport children to the nearest school, which is 13 kilometers away, and it broke down some years ago and we are failing to repair it, and children are walking 26 Kilometers to and from the school.
“We have more than 50 teen age girls who need sanitary wear and we are finding it difficult to provide all these basic needs because we do not have any source of income,” said Chonyera.
MDC-T’s Greenbate Dongo is the legislator for the area while Hebert Murerwa of ZANU-PF is the senator.
Chonyera said as a result of them failing to provide for the orphaned children most of the orphans were finding their way back in to the streets of Harare.
“Its disappointing to tell you that most of the orphans are going back to the streets were we took them because we have no food to feed them,” she added.
Help Age Projects manager Adonis Five said his organization recently joined hands with other NGO and mobilized food items for the orphanage centre.
“We were touched by the plight of this orphanage centre and we have mobilised some food items which we think is going to last for few weeks, and we hope that our superiors are going to extend our proposals through increasing the budget they allocated for this project.
We also challenge other NGOs to assist in this desperate situation,” he said.If given all the required attention the orphanage centre, which was a commercial farm, has every infrastructure that can be used for self sustenance.
The orphanage centre was founded in1986 by the late first lady Sally Mugabe who had a strong passion for disadvantaged children.