AS the adage does, when the times are dark, friends are few and former Vice-President Phelekezela is finding out this the hard way.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
Zanu PF’s aspiring parliamentary candidate for Bulawayo South constituency, Raj Modi has denied being politically linked to Mphoko, saying they only had a business relationship, which ended when he sold his supermarket franchise to the latter.
The Bulawayo businessman yesterday insisted that his connection with Mphoko was not political, but purely business.
“It was all business,” he said.
“I have got no relationship outside business at all with Mphoko. I sold my business to Choppies, and he is one of the partners. That is how we knew each other. I never had any connection with him outside business,” Modi, who pledged to refurbish the rundown Sidojiwe hostels at the Belmont industrial site to the tune of $40 000, said.
The old and squalid Sidojiwe flats are home to several families dumped by the government after their houses were destroyed during Operation Murambatsvina. The flats were recently condemned as uninhabitable. Modi insisted that the renovations were not a campaign gimmick.
“It’s not about elections. Its only that I have not been there, when I went there for the first time, I was touched so much that I felt something needed to be done as a matter of urgency. I have sent my team to do all the assessment and they are already busy on the ground. I am very confident that all the flats will be done in a matter of two weeks.”
The entrance to the two blocks of flats at Sidojiwe sums up the dilapidation of the buildings — broken down windows, dark corridors and a bad stench from burst sewer pipes welcomes visitors.
A malfunctioning sewer system is a common eyesore for the plus 300 families at the flats, who share one common kitchen, five colonial era bucket system toilets and one bathroom.