Zimbabwe's first lady Auxillia Mnangagwa at the opening ceremony of the Sixth Ordinary Session of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) in Midrand. Picture: ANA/Mel Frykberg

JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe's first lady Auxillia Mnangagwa is determined to help her country progress, especially when it comes to the rights of the disadvantaged. 

A new dawn was breaking in her country after its turbulent past and everybody needed to get involved to ensure a better future for all Zimbabweans, she told the African News Agency (ANA) in an interview on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the Sixth Ordinary Session of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) in Midrand on Monday.

"I feel very happy about the changes that are coming for everyone. I hope everybody will be involved through hard work in bringing change to the country," she said. 

"I want to work so hard for the people of Zimbabwe, the disadvantaged - specifically orphans in children's homes, disabled people and the elderly. It's my personal mission to get involved and help resolve their problems," the first lady told ANA.

Earlier, during the opening ceremony, Mnangagwa addressed the conference, bidding farewell to PAP after explaining she was leaving with "a heavy heart" but was moving forward to be a full legislative member of Zimbabwe's new parliament. 

"I leave PAP with a heavy heart but having gained much experience. The organisation has helped to mould me into the person I am today," she said.

She added that her experience with PAP had taught her to follow at times and to lead at other times. She will be leading a new constituency of 16 million people and spearheading several new initiatives in Zimbabwe. 

Zimbabwe's first lady added that she pledged full support for the PAP parliament as outlined in the African Union's Agenda 2063.

African News Agency/ANA