Ray Bande Senior Reporter
MAVERICK football coach Luke Masomere has taken aim at Mutare City Council for lacking seriousness in their efforts to renovate Sakubva Stadium.
Masomere was not happy with the snail pace at which refurbishment works were taking place.
Renovations at Sakubva Stadium started soon after the top flight football league authorities ruled that the stadium was unfit to host premiership matches. Since then the municipality has been seized with renovations and struggling to complete one of the four sides of the pre-cast wall.
The pre-cast wall was one of the many areas that the custodians of Sakubva Stadium were supposed to spruce up. The changing rooms, the turf, turnstiles, VIP section and perimeter fence also desperately need attention.
However, the municipality is yet to finish one side of the security structure.
The local authority does not have a time-line or time frame by which the renovations should be complete.
Ironically, Mutare City Rovers – a team owned by the municipality – have now been forced to travel to Rusape’s Vengere Stadium for their home matches.
Masomere, the self-styled doctor of football, said it makes no sense for the country’s fourth largest city to have a condemned stadium and resort to the one in a small town for salvation. He said the municipality has shown lack of seriousness in the ongoing renovation works.
“It is clear that Mutare City Council is not serious about the state of the stadium. The football season is in full swing and here we have a stadium whose renovations are going at a snail’s pace.
“The renovations are not moving at the expected speed. As we speak they are yet to complete one side of the pre-cast wall and from the look of things, it is not surprising that they may fail to finish the renovations this year. I think they need to understand that football is a source of livelihood for some people much as they have their own sources of livelihood,” said Masomere.
Masomere also lamented on the state of stadia being used by teams in the Eastern Region Division One League.
“The issue of match venues is actually worrisome in this region. My team (Manica Diamonds) is in Eastern Region Division One and we are having challenges of playing football in some potato fields. Most of the match venues do not deserve to be called stadia; maybe we can just say they are football grounds.
“I do not think any assessment of these stadia was done before the teams were allowed to use them as they home match venues. It is sad, to be polite. However, I am happy that my players are fast adjusting to these terrible conditions,” he said.
Zifa Eastern Region chairman Davison Muchena conceded that some of the match venues being used in the league do not meet the required standards.
“Generally, the state of our stadia is not pleasing at all. That is fact. We have been engaging our clubs with the aim of encouraging them to upgrade their stadia to meet the required standards.
“While we all know that it is difficult out there given that the costs involved are exorbitant, we will continue working closely with our clubs to see to it that the state of our stadia is improved,” he said.