By Tadious Manyepo
Renovations at Rufaro received a huge boost yesterday when a former City of Harare councillor and his colleagues donated building material worth $400 000 towards the construction of the stadium’s new changing rooms.
Work is scheduled to start tomorrow.
The dilapidated changing rooms at Rufaro have continuously been condemned by CAF and ZIFA inspectors, with the stadium deemed unfit to host top-flight matches by the association’s first instance board earlier this year.
But the City of Harare, who own the stadium, received a major boost yesterday when businessman Beadle Musa Gwasira delivered building material towards the construction of new changing rooms.
Gwasira, a former City of Harare councillor for Avondale, secured the material together with his partners.
The businessman is also a former PSL fixtures secretary and was the main partner in the group of individuals who owned Harare top-flight football side Lengthens.
The new changing rooms will be situated more than 50 metres from the pitch, inside the outside car park, behind the western grand stand.
Gwasira and his crew supplied 10 000 bricks, 100 bags of cement, three quarter stones, river and pit sand with the construction work set to be undertaken by the City of Harare experts.
Gwasira, who also donated 100 bags of cement towards the rehabilitation of Barbourfields early this year, said he was part of Zimbabwean football and feels obliged to help the national game.
“I am part and parcel of the game in Zimbabwe. I believe this gesture sums it all,” Gwasira said.
“My heart bleeds when stadiums, as big as Rufaro, fail to pass the CAF and ZIFA inspection tests.
“Football is our game and we have to enjoy it anywhere in the country.
“We cannot fold our hands when a stadium like Rufaro is deemed unfit to host international matches.
“We want to watch the Warriors at Rufaro, we want to watch our local clubs hosting international matches at Rufaro.
“It cannot be business as usual to see our stadiums being condemned.
“I was told one of the major issues that has seen Rufaro being condemned was the poor state of the changing rooms.
“So, I have decided to chip in and help with their construction. This is only the beginning of a sound relationship. I will always chip in when need arises and when resources permit.”
Construction of the perimeter wall around the stadium’s car park had been halted but the authorities have since committed to work on it.
The City of Harare have also made huge strides in rehabilitating the bumpy playing surface at the stadium.
They drilled three boreholes at Rufaro for a constant supply of water needed in improving the state of the playing surface.
Ablution facilities are, however still to be addressed. All attention, though, appears to have shifted to Rufaro as there is virtually no progress at Gwanzura.
Before the country was forced into lockdown by the Covid-19 pandemic, some workers were seen working at the stadium.
However, work suddenly stopped and Gwanzura still resembles a forgotten stadium. The Herald