By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
Construction of Tsholotsho Stadium which was suspended in 2015 on the orders of the then Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Professor Jonathan Moyo is set to resume tomorrow.
Moyo stopped the construction which was initiated by locals saying central Government had taken over the construction of the facility because it was a national project.
The Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing then led by Ignatius Chombo took over the project and the little the ministry did was to send a team of technicians and engineers to the site.
Construction work remained suspended and this has prompted Tsholotsho Rural District Council to take over the project.
A committee chaired by Sicelo Dube, a schoolhead, had constructed dressing rooms and toilets when construction work was stopped.
Themba Moyo, the Tsholotsho RDC chief executive officer said council had taken over the project and construction will resume tomorrow.
He said the target was for the stadium to be ready for use by Tsholotsho FC in their Division One campaign this year.
“The initial plan by central Government was to make the stadium a multi-purpose facility similar to an Olympic stadium but funds have not been coming from treasury,” said Moyo.
He said they had since resolved to build the stadium in phases, starting with the football side so that by the time the 2018 season gets underway, the facility will be ready for use.
“If you remember, we were given a quota to slaughter elephants to meet some of the costs for the construction of the stadium with treasury also expected to bail us out but that has not happened. The elephants were shot and those funds are there so construction work resumes this Friday.
“We want the stadium to meet the minimum required standards. The Bulawayo City Council promised to give us the turf and all is in order. New toilets and dressing rooms will be built and a perimeter wall will be constructed so that people pay to watch matches,” said Moyo.
He said about 30 elephants have so far been shot under the initial trophy hunting quota of 60 that was allocated and all proceeds from the hunts were there and people will see construction work resuming tomorrow.
Some villagers had complained of lack of progress in the construction of the stadium alleging that money realised from the trophy hunting had been misappropriated.
They had called on the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission to investigate the case but Moyo said their books were in order.
“We want to assure the community that the stadium will be ready for use this year,” said Moyo. The Chronicle