Desmond Munemo, H-Metro Reporter
Harare Mayor has given council a deadline of April 30 to refurbish Gwanzura Stadium amid ‘discovery’ that Rufaro Stadium still has old squatting holes for toilets.
Mayor Councillor Herbert Gomba also blasted senior council workforce for failing to properly look after the stadia under jurisdiction of council.
In an exclusive interview with H-Metro, Mayor Gomba revealed that Gwanzura stadium which had become a blot on the landscape would be ready by April 30.
“It is very important for our municipal employees to understand that they must do their work on time and to perfection.
“Working for Harare City Council entails certain responsibilities and besides them being municipal workers, they are also residents.
“It is not out of this world to ask them to do their work at Gwanzura and Rufaro stadia.
“The stadium is a revenue stream for council and it enables them to be paid on time.
“This culture of neglecting council property is not good since it also affects their welfare.
“As council, we stick to our guns; the stadium must be ready for use by April 30.
“I, with the members of the housing committee, will obviously visit the stadium on the 30th on April to see whether that which was expected has been done.
“If it’s not done, it entails that our employees have made a choice to ignore the council resolution and they know the implications of such action on,” said Mayor Gomba.
H-Metro yesterday followed up on the progress of Gwanzura and found council workers busy cutting off grass from the stands as the gate was manned by security personnel.
The state of Rufaro Stadium is also horrific with an old squatting toilet system behind the VIP section still being used for a stadium that is supposed to host international matches.
There are also broken gutters, run down old toilet system well as drainage, which is covered by weeds.
Mayor Gomba further revealed the circumstances which led to the banning of the Harare stadia and took time to clarify on the status of City departments responsible for stadia maintenance.
“We have made a decision after an alarm had been raised and also numerous stakeholders have been pushing for something to be done.
“What was lagging is that the city architectural department was understaffed and we then made a decision to recruit other staff within council.
“The City architect had not done what he was required by the football authorities to do in terms of the drawings, drainage system and like the expansion of dressing rooms.
“I had a meeting with all the departments in Kadoma to establish the cause of the procrastination and I was satisfied by the finance department which revealed that it had all the resources to undertake the projects.
“I got to realize that the problem lied with the acting City Architect Leonard Chirombo who could not respond to the request from the Housing department which had been writing to him since last year.
“The Housing department headed by (Addmore) Nhekairo made efforts to resolve the stadia conditions but met hurdles along the way,” explained Mayor Gomba.
Pictures by Nyasha Chawatama