Ray Bande Senior Sports Reporter
CONSTRUCTION of the Sakubva Stadium precast wall is expected to be completed by the end of October this year and that is the only earliest point in time that Castle Lager Premiership outfit Mutare City Rovers can make use of the eastern border city’s ceremonial home of football, Post Sport has learnt.
Sakubva Stadium was closed for renovations following the condemnation by Premier Soccer League early this year and since then football teams in Mutare have been forced to use alternative venues – including primary and secondary school grounds – for their league matches.
Premier Soccer League whipping boys Mutare City Rovers opted for Vengere Stadium in Rusape while Eastern Region Division One teams Tenax and Manica Diamonds are using Mutare Boys High School ground.
So far, the contractor working at Sakubva stadium – Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) – working with a labour force of 10 artisans and 10 assistants, has covered 202 metres of the precast wall in the 50 days that they have been on site.
Mutare City Council publicist Spren Mutiwi confirmed that construction of the Sakubva Stadium precast wall is expected to be completed by the end of October this year.
Mutiwi said the local authority is engaging prospective partners to revamp other areas within the multi sports venue in a long term grand plan aimed at turning it into an up-to-the-minute sports facility.
“Works are underway to renovate Sakubva Stadium in line with PSL requirements and judging by the fine brickwork, Sakubva Stadium is heading for a major transformation.
“City of Mutare has partnered ZPCS to build a modern wall and already the contractor has displayed the highest level of fine and professional acumen.
“For the first time the local authority has taken a bold decision to completely renovate the stadium and give it a new facelift.
“That is highly commendable given the shoestring budget and revenue inflows at Civic Centre.
“While we agree that the project is lagging behind schedule but the quality of work being carried out overrides the shortcomings. We want to ensure that we increase our pace so that Sakubva Stadium is used before the end of the PSL season and let people of Mutare enjoy quality football. From the schedule that we now have from the contractor, works on the precast wall are expected to be complete by the end of October,” said Mutiwi.
He lamented on the inconveniences that the renovations had to Mutare City Rovers.
“We are aware that the delays have not only affected Mutare City Rovers but also the local authority in terms of revenue generation but we are confident that once the project is completed everyone will appreciate why it has taken so long.
“It is not a secret that the construction project is lagging behind but our focus is on the long term plan of the project. The inconveniences caused by the delays far outweigh the delays and we appeal to all sport loving people in Mutare and beyond to support the project,” said Mutiwi.
The announcement by the local authority on the deadlines of the construction project puts to rest speculation about Mutare City Council’s sincerity and seriousness in undertaking the mammoth task of revamping the sports facility.
Several stakeholders have in the past lampooned the local authority, questioning its commitment to the project but the latest clarification by Mutare City Council is expected to quell suspicion and speculation as the new administration at the local authority seem to be making a lasting solution to the problems that have always been faced with regards to the use of Sakubva Stadium.
In the past, issues related to the renovations of sports facilities and Sakubva Stadium in particular have always been trivialised, especially by the ousted Mutare City Council management.