FINALLY, Mutare Municipality have agreed to sell Premiership side Mutare City Rovers franchise to Bantu Africa Resources at a yet to be announced price.
The development comes in the wake of industrial action by disgruntled players who demanded their dues.
City Rovers had become a laughing stock and an embarrassment to the people of Manicaland as it failed to produce results.
Defeats, even at home to small teams like Nichrut, were enough evidence of the magnitude of hopelessness that had crept into the City Rovers camp.
That its executive comprised people, who know little if not nothing about the beautiful game, further worsened the situation that the club found itself in.
Mutare City Council had managed to avail a paltry $150 000 for the upkeep of the club for the entire season, an amount that falls far below a normal Premiership club budget.
Much as it was a commendable community responsibility initiative for City Council to fund Mutare City Rovers, the sheer lack of resources to meet the financial obligations of funding a top flight league outfit made it virtually impossible for the local authority to continue bankrolling the team.
We all love the game of football, more so when it comes to a club that is based in our province, representing the hopes and aspirations of the people of Manicaland, but we are mindful of the fact that the existence of a club comes with costs attached to it and Mutare City Council has too much on its plate to afford bankrolling a top flight team.
Issues to do with service delivery are paramount to any given local authority and Mutare City Council is no exception.
Council still has a lot to accomplish in that front and it is against that background that selling their Premiership club franchise makes sense.
The most encouraging thing about the deal is that Mutare City Council is mindful of its mandate as a local authority to spruce up sporting facilities around the city and they have made it a point that proceeds from the sale of the club franchise will be channelled towards refurbishment of sporting facilities, especially Sakubva Stadium.
As evidence that Mutare City Council has the people of Mutare at heart, the local authority also insisted that the new owners of the club would not relocate the team to a new base but remains in Mutare or at least their current home ground of Vengere Stadium in Rusape.
It is good for a local authority to have a football club of its own and world over local authorities have teams that actually identify more with locals than privately owned clubs.
However, it is our fervent hope that when things stabilise, revenue inflows improve and service delivery improves in future, Mutare City Council will consider reviving this noble project for the sake of the people of Mutare, mainly its youths.
Gusha Bhora, as City Rovers are fondly referred to, had become part of the life of football lovers in Mutare and they surely have reasonable hope that one day when things improve, they will once again see the revival of the project they dearly loved.