Community Development Food Health Politics

Betty Kaseke soldiers on with community development despite damaging rumours

The philanthropy in the “Iron Lady” as Betty Kaseke has come to be known because of her ability to conquer criticism and character assassination has refused to die as she focuses on community development through the Betty Kaseke Foundation.

Carrying the poise of a beauty queen that she is, Betty Kaseke yesterday through her foundation, in partnership with the Rise and Shine Foundation and Feed Zimbabwe launched a feeding programme for children in the suburb where more than 300 children are benefitting.

Children getting food rations courtesy of the Betty Kaseke Foundation, Rise and Shine foundation and Feed Zimbabwe

“Under this programme, community care workers identify needy children and bring them here for feeding. Beneficiaries are orphans, children from child-headed families, and underprivileged families. We also feed persons with disabilities drawn from the local community.

“This programme is also running concurrently with a similar one in Mabvuku. Very soon we will also launch the programme in Epworth. Initially, we gave food hampers to the elderly and persons with disabilities but we later deemed it fit to incorporate children that we give food in the morning and a major meal in the afternoon. We realised that most families afford one meal per day, particularly in the evening hence our intervention. We also provide teachings to the children on drama, music, dancing, and ways to prevent COVID-19,” the philanthropist said.

The foundation provides face masks, soap, and sanitisers to the beneficiaries. The meal comprises sadza, rice, beans, kapenta, as well as cabbages with peanut butter.

Tachiona Shateyi (78), a war veteran from Ward 38 in Kuwadzana hailed the Betty Kaseke Foundation for standing with the people in both good and bad times.

“Honourable Kaseke is a woman of the people. She is always among us and attends to all our grievances as residents of Kuwadzana. In her programmes, she does not discriminate against anyone based on colour, creed or political affiliation. In short she is the Mother of all in Kuwadzana,” Comrade Shateyi said.

Joyce Chikanya (50) from the same ward also praised the former legislator for Kuwadzana for taking care of the disadvantaged members of the community.

A man of the cloth, Apostle Brian Mhungu said such programmes by the consortium of the Betty Kaseke Foundation, the Rise and Shine Foundation, and Feed Zimbabwe complement government efforts in raising the profile of vulnerable people.

“Communities are facing a plethora of challenges during COVID-19. The challenges include skyrocketing prices of basic commodities and a general lack of access to food due to the twin challenges of drought and Cyclone Idai. This initiative, therefore, comes in handy and I appeal to the corporate world and well-wishers to follow suit with similar programmes,” Apostle Mhungu said.

Turning to rumours doing the rounds on social media that Betty Kaseke was pregnant with ZANU (PF) political commissar and deputy minister of defence, Victor Matemadanda’s child, the philanthropist and maverick young politician dismissed the façade as the work of her political enemies.

“I am a vibrant young politician in the revered ZANU (PF) National Women’s League. As you can see, I am not pregnant. I am a Christian, married woman and community leader. The rumours were part of a grand scheme to tarnish my image and that of the party I represent. There were attempts to bar me from contesting in the District Coordinating Committee elections which I eventually won and became Secretary for Women Affairs.

“There are also impending elections for Harare Province Interim Executive within ZANU (PF) and such rumours are calculated at tarnishing my image ahead of the plebiscite. This, however, can’t stop me from contesting for any position in the party,” Betty Kaseke added.

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende