Cross battles poverty as companies collapse

Bulawayo South constituency, with over 15 000 pensioners and retrenched workers, is one of the poorest urban constituencies in the country.

Eddie Cross, MDC-T Bulawayo South MP.
Eddie Cross, MDC-T Bulawayo South MP.

Since the economic meltdown started in the late 90s, about 50 companies in the constituency have closed down or relocated to other towns and cities. Dominated by aliens from Malawi and Mozambique, Eddie Cross’s constituency includes parts of Tshabalala, Sizinda and Barham Green suburbs as well as Belmont industrial area.

“Most people used to depend on the Cold Storage Company and the National Railways, which, at their peak, employed more than 50 000 people in the constituency,” says Cross, voted MP in in 2008.

His interaction with the constituency started in the late 80s when he was CEO of the CSC.

“I have assisted vulnerable residents with virtually everything including funeral expenses, rates, food and school fees,” said Cross who is also a member of the parliamentary portfolio on the budget.

The homes of 16 Sizinda families were destroyed by a strong hailstorm three months ago.

“We immediately approached ubabaMP through our councillor for assistance and he immediately responded. He first of all gave us tents before mobilising resources from his friends for the reconstruction of the house. Our MP is an understanding man and is always approachable when one has got a personal problem,” said Zamile Ajiti

Through the Constituency Development Fund, Cross has upgraded Barham Green primary school and assisted several schools with furniture and equipment. The fund has also been used to resuscitate Tshabalala and Barham Green clinics, which have been lying idle for the past five years due to staff and drug shortages.

One of Cross’s visions is to transform the constituency into an urban green belt through the establishment of irrigation schemes.

“The council has promised us land for urban agriculture. We have six boreholes we can use to harness water for irrigation purposes,” said Cross.

Cross said he had tried in his personal capacity to assist where ever I can. “Right now I am in the process of engaging doctors to assist 140 elderly people who have got eyesight problems,” he said.

Despite a busy schedule, Cross, who holds several portfolios in the party, tries to give his constituency undivided attention.

Another resident, Shelton Tembo described Cross as a hardworking MP who deserves the support of the residents.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *