READERS of The Herald united yesterday in criticising the City of Harare for selling the nation a dummy with Gwanzura and Rufaro still in a state of disrepair.
The two stadia are virtually in the same poor state they were in when they were condemned by the ZIFA First Instance Body in March.
City of Harare housing director Addmore Nhekairo, appeared to be employing a hands-on approach as artisans fixed both drainage and sewer infrastructure at Gwanzura in March.
But, save for the grading of the playing turf and cleaning of the changing rooms, nothing seems to have been done at the stadium.
Harare City Council spokesperson, Michael Chideme, who said renovations were ongoing at both facilities with skeletal staff, has also come in for some criticism.
“The renovations at both facilities are ongoing, but there is minimal workforce on the ground due to the coronavirus epidemic,” said Chideme.
“Remember, some of the material which is needed for the renovations is found from companies that are not operating at the moment.”
A visit to facilities by The Herald showed that part of the perimeter wall at Gwanzura has since collapsed while the sitting bays are in horrible shape.
Some weeds, which were removed in March, have since grown on the terraces and the rusty perimeter fence, separating the bays and the pitch, has also collapsed.
At Rufaro, the municipality deployed municipal police details to man the gates and prevent members of the media from entering the facility.
Weeds have again invaded the turf.
And, after a report carried in this newspaper yesterday, readers reacted angrily to the lack of progress at both stadia and here are some of their views:
“If we could track back to our comments when there was hype by HCC (Harare City Council) about the two stadiums being renovated, it will be noticed that we said Chideme (HCC council spokesman) is employed to lie.
“Nothing will be done on these stadiums, at least, in the course of this year. Perhaps, if there is a total overhaul at the HCC council administration, then we may see change. Then, we said let’s wait and see. We say the same again this time around.”
“Infrastructure is a long-term investment which needs maintenance and servicing for use by current and future generations. It is really painful and an affront to natural justice that the city fathers and mothers superintend the systematic decay and demise of such infrastructure which is intended to provide sporting and entertainment value to the population.
“It is equally depressing that, by that very same token of negligence, the once-intact and thriving infrastructure at bus termini and Rufaro Marketing outlets all over the city are now unsightly rundowns with zero economic and social returns to both the council and residents.
“It may be time for self-introspection on the meaning and ethos of investing in public infrastructure.”
Mura Costa Tabaruka
“The City of Harare never had the capacity to undertake large capital projects, from inception, design, implementation and project management. They have always outsourced these large projects.
“Projects should be done by external consultants and contractors and handed over to Harare for maintenance on completion. They simply do not have the capacity to implement new capital infrastructural projects.
“See, they cannot even fix potholes, pavements, let alone water features in town.”
“City of Harare has never been serious in what they do? Did you hear the mayor talking about the issue of wetlands? This is the kind of people we have who have failed to deliver, the whole of Harare has no water.