By Lawrence Trusida, Sports Editor
FOOTBALL stakeholders have blasted Harare City Council for frustrating Sakunda Holdings in the deal to refurbish Rufaro Stadium in Harare’s High-density suburb of Mbare.
This comes after the deal collapsed on Tuesday, with Sakunda Holdings pulling out.
The ceremonial home of local football, Rufaro Stadium is in a sorry state with the structure looking like a First World War building.
The outside paling areas are full of trenches while opportunists have turned them into a marketplace.
The team bus parking area is now a shrine as members of the apostolic sect have found a conducive place to worship.
This was all set to end, with the coming in of Sakunda Holdings which signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the city fathers for the modernisation of the ceremonial home of local football.
However, nine months down the line, the City of Harare has frustrated another investor.
Sadly, this has become a pattern as two other investors were also frustrated in their quest to spruce up the facility, a situation that has disappointed football fans.
“It is painful for us soccer fans as council once frustrated Savannah now its Sakunda and they always have reasons, but the stadium looks like it is going to fall off,” said a fan.
“We used to come here and watch matches, but now we can’t because of the city council. They have failed to run a lot of facilities yet they always claim they are being deprived an opportunity to fully operate,” said another.
Some also took to social media to vent their frustrations over the Harare City Council’s ineptitude amid accusations of politicking.
The City of Harare called for a media briefing this Wednesday, but instead of addressing pertinent issues, Mayor Jacob Mafume chose to gloat without substance.
“We have a plan for Rufaro and we have funds. We will soon renovate the stadium and other facilities,” he said.
This is not the first Public Private Partnership that the Harare City council has entered into and failed to produce results.
All the council-owned stadia in Harare including Gwanzura stadium in Highfields are now run-down, with the likes of Glen Norah stadium extinct.
Ironically, two council-owned football clubs, Harare City and Bulawayo City were relegated as they struggled to meet their salary obligations.
In basketball, the story is the same as senior players left City Hornets en masse before the team was relegated only for it to bounce back after snapping the Raiderz franchise which pulled out of the Super6.