AS residents of Budiriro, Harare, start to pick up the pieces following the ill-timed and callous decision by the MDC-Alliance led council to demolish their houses, several Zimbabweans, who include Impala Car Rental chief executive officer and music promoter, Mr Thompson Dondo have stepped-in to offer assistance to those in need.
On Wednesday, Mr Dondo, whose company is into charity work, braved the wet weather and travelled to Budiriro where he donated $500 000 to Mr Nhamo Magwizi whose house was razed to the ground during the recent demolitions which sparked national outrage.
Seated in his wheelchair and soaking in the rains, the 42 year-old Mr Magwizi was clearly at a loss for words as he described how his house was demolished with no alternative accommodation as per the instructions from central Government.
“My life is now upside down. I don’t even know what to do. I am thinking of building one room and a toilet, but you never know, maybe they will come back again to destroy our houses. I am hoping if we can’t stay here, authorities will find somewhere to put us. Our situation is terrible”.
On Tuesday after the Cabinet meeting, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo said while the Government fully upholds the rule of law and does not interfere with the Judiciary and its orders, council should be sensitive on its timing when implementing the orders such as the demolition of houses in Budiriro.
For Mr Mangwizi, who paid for his house and was even paying bills to the MDC A-controlled council, his aim was always to ensure his family had a roof over their heads, but now that is all a dream. Mr Magwizi, who is married and has two children, said after the demolitions, he has been staying with one of his friends in Budiriro while his family has moved to Kadoma.
Touched by the plight of Mr Magwizi, who is disabled, Mr Dondo donated $500 000 to Mr Magwizi’s so that he can have somewhere to start.
“I saw your story on social media and I was touched. It’s raining and you are a disabled man with a family. My heart sank and I said I have to do something for you in the immediate. I will transfer 500 000 into your account tomorrow” he said.
He, however, dissuaded Mr Magwizi from building another house in the same location where many structures now lie in ruins following the callous action by the MDC-A council.
“When the demolitions took place, I was not around. I received a phone call from some of my neighbours and relatives.
“I was fortunate that these neighbours and relatives managed to remove my property from the house before it was demolished. After the demolitions, they also managed to save some of my bricks.
“I really thought I had sorted issues to do with accommodation. At first we paid US$300 then monthly subscriptions of US$22.
“We stopped paying subscriptions in 2013 when we discovered that something was wrong.
“I want to thank you Mr Dondo and Impala Car Rental for this assistance. God bless you,” said Mr Magwizi. Impala Car Rental is well-known for its corporate social responsibility, that has seen several artists and needy people in communities benefiting.
Some of his philanthropic work is seen through the Alfred Dondo Foundation. The foundation has more than 60 children that it helps with school fees and uniforms.
Most of these children are from Chivhu (Mr Dondo’s rural home) but now the foundation is looking after children from all over the country. Last year, the foundation worked with South African superstar, Nasty C to raise funds for the less privileged.
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