The Sunday News
Tinomuda Chakanyuka, Senior Reporter
PROMINENT Bulawayo businessman and Zanu-PF National Assembly candidate for Bulawayo South constituency Cde Raj Modi has committed over $40 000 towards the refurbishment of the derelict Sidojiwe Hostels in Belmont.
The hostels, owned by Bulawayo City Council, are in a dilapidated state as most of the basic amenities are broken down, leaving the 500 occupants staying under squalid conditions.
The refurbishment work covers installation of new flash toilets, showers, renovation of laundry rooms, and replacement of broken window panes and repairing of the lighting system at the three blocks.
Residents at Sidojiwe use the bucket system in their toilets while over 1 000 window panes are broken and need replacement.
A ceremony to unveil the refurbishment package was held at Sidojiwe Hostels on Friday where the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in Bulawayo Cde Angeline Masuku was the guest of honour.
Speaking at the ceremony Cde Masuku commended Cde Modi for the gesture which she said was exemplary.
“I’m excited to witness such development in our community. This refurbishment project will go a long way in protecting residents against health hazards.
“I’m proud of Cde Modi because he’s a man of his word who is determined to assist in any way he can. These are the leaders that we need in society, who listen to the people and work towards solving their problems and giving people better living conditions,” said Cde Masuku.
In his speech at the ceremony, Cde Modi said the deplorable living conditions of Sidojiwe residents which exposed them to health hazards had moved him to assist alleviate the situation.
“The first time I came to this place I had never imagined the living conditions of residents here. I therefore took it as a personal challenge to make a few changes. Such conditions expose the residents, especially children, to health hazards. The toilets are not fit for human use,” he said.
Cde Modi said he had also lined up a number of development projects to assist residents in Bulawayo South and the city at large.
He said after refurbishing Sidojiwe Hostels, his next project would be the construction of eight toilets at Greenfield Primary School, a project Cde Modi said would cost an estimated $20 000.
“The toilets at the school are not enough to accommodate the population of pupils and authorities at the school requested for assistance in that regard. As soon as we are done here, I think in two weeks or so, we will start construction of the eight toilets,” he said.
Cde Modi said he was committed to assist Bulawayo residents in a number of areas and would soon come up with programmes that would address some of the issues affecting the city.
“There are issues that have been brought to my attention by the residents and these include job creation, business opportunities and health care awareness. I intend to structure programmes to address these issues,” he said.
Yesterday Cde Modi held a health expo at Tshabalala Clinic where hundreds of residents received free treatment and medical examination from 10 doctors.
Some of the health care services that were provided at the expo included diagnosis, minor surgeries and dermatology services among others.
A wide range of medicine was also available and dispensed to people who were diagnosed with different ailments.