Chiefs bid for Amazulu Sports Club takeover
By Ricky Zililo
Ambitious Premier Soccer League club Bulawayo Chiefs have submitted a bid to lease Amazulu Sports Club for amateur sports and social activities.
Amazulu Sports Club, formerly Callies Sports Club, is situated in North End along Robert Mugabe Way, next to Hartsfield Rugby Grounds.
It shares borders with Crescent Sports Club, home to Bulawayo City FC, and Khanyisile Sports Centre (formerly Bulawayo Club for the Disabled) and Archers Sports Club.
At least 500 tenders for sports clubs, beer outlets, local authority site, caravan sites, council shops, market stalls, Ascot Race Course offices, factory shells, Thorngroove shops, tuckshops, fruits and vegetables market sites, service industry stands, town houses, commercial stands, light industry bays, filling station, clinic/hospital site and creche, were opened to the public on Monday.
Most submissions to lease the sports clubs showed that they wanted them for purposes of setting up “Tshisa Nyamas”, while some want to establish sports academies.
The process of opening and acknowledging tenders started at 10am and finished just after 5pm on Monday.
After the acknowledgement of receipt of tender documents, the next stage is the adjudication process, where the panel will scrutinise all proposals and shortlist submissions which meet council criteria.
Some bidders offered monthly rentals of US$3 000 for Amazulu Sports Club promising to resuscitate what was once home to Zimbabwe’s richest football club Amazulu FC, who were owned by Bulawayo businessman Delma Luphephe.
Unlike in the past when Bulawayo City Council leased out Amazulu Sports Club for long periods, the local authority has decided on short-term five-year leases.
The first time the facility was leased out was in 1961 for a period of 25 years. The second automatic 25-year lease expired in 2011.
In 2012, the council leased out the facility to Amazulu for 10 years and the agreement was due to expire next year, but it was terminated following a number of breaches, including failure to make lease payments and to maintain the facility.
In 2018, Chicken Inn FC made a failed bid to lease Amazulu Sports Club.
Chiefs confirmed submission of tender documents for the lease.
“It’s true, we were one of those who submitted tender documents to lease a sports club. Unfortunately, we can’t comment any further,” said a Chiefs’ representative. The Chronicle