Ray Bande Senior Sports Reporter
MUTARE City Rovers will host their second Premiership match against Bulawayo Chiefs at Vengere Stadium on Sunday as renovations at Sakubva stadium move at a snail’s pace amid shocking revelations that up to this week, the local authority does not know when they are likely to have the venue ready for inspection.
Sakubva stadium was banned from hosting top flight league matches at the start of the season owing to its derelict state though hopes were high that Mutare City Rovers would return to their home ground only after two home matches played.
But it appears fans in Mutare will have to content with travelling to Rusape to watch Gusha Bhora in action as repairs at the 15 000-seater facility continue moving at a very slow speed.
Ironically, Mutare City Rovers are a Premiership football team owned by the very custodians of Sakubva stadium – Mutare City Council.
That Mutare is the country’s fourth largest city which now has its flagship football team hosting visiting clubs in a town of a far much lesser status than itself not only defies logic but also places the local authority’s management systems under severe scrutiny.
Mutare City Council publicist Spren Mutiwi said the local authority is prioritising the construction of the pre-cast wall.
Mutiwi admitted they were not yet aware of the time-lines the renovations were likely to last before the facility is ready for inspection.
“We want to complete the pre-cast wall first which is the major outstanding work. In terms of time frame we cannot give you now, but we will be able to give you once we engage the other contractors. But we want the project to be completed as soon as yesterday. Time-lines and targets can only be done after we have engaged and agreed in terms with the other contractors.
“We have decided to rope in other artisans in Mutate to speed up the construction process of Sakubva stadium so that we can finish it within a short period of time. You understand that the ZPCS is currently working on the project but the pace at which construction is taking has prompted management to look for additional contractors. No wonder why last week we had an engagement meeting with artisans in Mutate to brief them about the empowerment opportunities and how they can contribute to the development of the city. A number of builders have shown interest and are currently engaged with the Engineering department with a view to have a better appreciation of the scope of work required.
“We believe very soon once we have gone through the selection process you will see an increased pace with more artisans complementing the ZPCS. We are mindful of the need to complete the project in time and any further delays will not do us any good,” he said.
Mutiwi said the local authority was taking the renovations seriously.
“We expect more contractors on site within a short space of time and we don’t want to continue upsetting our faithful supporters. We are taking the renovations seriously and we want to ensure that the project is completed soon to allow our team to use their home ground and to give all the soccer loving fans the chance to watch top flight Premier Soccer League closer home,” said Mutiwi.
Meanwhile, the struggling Premiership returnees get into match day six with only a paltry two points to show from a possible 15.
Gritty performers Shabanie Mine were held to a stalemate by struggling débutantes Mutare City in a Castle Lager Premiership soccer match at Maglas on Sunday.
Shabanie Mine captain Trevor Ajana cancelled ageing striker Evans “Morocco” Chikwaikwai’s early strike to ensure a share of the spoils.
After the match against the Chinda Boys, Mutare City remain winless in their opening five league matches with only two draws and three defeats.
Castle Lager Premiership 2018 Matchday Six:
Mutare City Rovers v Bualwayo Chiefs; FC Platinum and Harare City; Black Rhinos v Chapungu; Herentals FC v Bualwayo City FC; Triangle FC v Caps United FC; Dynamos v Yadah FC; Nichrut FC v ZPC Kariba FC; Chicken Inn FC v Highlanders; Shabanie Mine v Ngezi Platinum FC;