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MDC Alliance stutters in Bulawayo South

Incumbent Bulawayo South MDC legislator Eddie Cross’ decision to step aside ahead of the July 30 harmonised elections has opened avenues for Zanu PF and new entrants in the constituency if events on the ground are anything to go by.

BULAWAYO South MDC legislator, Eddie Cross
BULAWAYO South MDC legislator, Eddie Cross

MDC Alliance has been missing in action due to its failure to resolve in time the issue of who is going to represent the coalition in the constituency after Cross stepped aside.

The constituency has seen a double nomination after two of its candidates, Kunashe Muchemwa and Francis Mangwendeza, filed papers for the same constituency. By the time of going to print, the two were still holed up in negotiations in Harare with the authorities on who should be given the nod.

While these have been sideshows by the Alliance, which many thought has a higher chance to retain the seat, events on the ground point to a shift in dynamics.

In other words, no candidate representing the MDC Alliance has campaigned so far in Bulawayo South, yet Zanu PF’s Raji Modi, Josphat Muzaca Ngulube (Independent)  and Clayton Jones (PRC) have moved miles in their bid for glory.

However, Modi appears to have been moving faster than the other contestants.

“I am man of few words and more action” has been the mantra that has gripped Bulawayo South constituency as the battle to represent the constituency reaches fever pitch.

Ever since he sailed through the chaotic Zanu PF primary elections, Modi has, perhaps through his financial muscle, threatened to overshadow two of his close competitors Jones and Ngulube who have been working hard in the constituency since the beginning of the year.

Of note, however, is the investment in the constituency by Modi that should leave any competitor freaking out. As popular as he is in business circles, politically he is no gifted speaker. He hardly stands in front of members of the constituency.

His speeches have usually lasted a minute or just below two minutes. Maybe realising his weakness in that department, he has expanded his energy on “working than talking” hence his mantra “I am a man of few words and more action.”

Firstly, it was his refurbishment of the derelict Sidojiwe Flats where he poured in $40 000. The flats, which were a health hazard, is home to almost 1 000 residents and the renovations are almost complete.

From there, he conducted health expos where residents were treated for free. As if that was not enough, the popular businessman has been distributing food as well as reaching out to the needy and the elderly among other things.

Over the weekend, Modi brought over two hundred residents from the constituency to witness the launch of the inaugural Raji Modi Cup tournament in Barham Green.

A total of eight junior teams took part in the tournament which is set to be an annual event.

“I have always been a great lover of sport and have helped a lot of such clubs, such as the Heath Streak Academy and also contributed tremendously in the SRC Board, where I currently hold a position,” Modi told the gathering.

He also offered to resuscitate the Barham Green Sports Club which he said will be the centre for the tournament.

“As we launch this event, I want to promise you that Barham Green sports club will never be the same again. Firstly, we are undertaking an assessment report on what can be resuscitated repaired or replaced. From there, change will begin to happen. I am a man of few words and more action,” he said. Daily News