A FIGHT to control the dilapidated Rusape Boating Club has erupted, with members of the club resisting attempts by Rusape Town Council to terminate their lease and avail the club to new suitors.
The boating club which is run by Rusape Boating Club Company has a valid lease with the local authority which expires in 2040, but the club has not been remitting anything to the council since 2006.
However, the club argues that the local authority stopped sending bills after some attempts of a hostile takeover which resulted in members failing to access its premises.
Rusape Town Council last month notified the public of its intentions to lease its derelict sporting and leisure facilities including Makoni Country Club, Swimming Bath and the boating club.
They only received an objection from Rusape Boating Club.
In a letter to the council, RBC chairman, George Frangoulis said they are still the legal occupiers of the area.
“Stop using the name Rusape Boating Club. I would like to notify Rusape Town Council that the name Rusape Boating Club Company is registered and is affiliated to Zimbabwe Boating Clubs and Anglers Association for fishing. Our association has a membership of 40 to 50 paid up members.
“Since 2006, council has not been sending bills to the association for the lease. We have the lease which is valid from 1990 to 2040,” reads part of the objection.
In an interview, Frangoulis said activities at the club are back and renovations are underway.
“We have a valid lease, but council went on to advertise its leasing without engaging us the seating tenants. Council is also alive to the situation that led to RBC scaling down activities at the site, but now the environment has improved and we are back at our place.
“There are activities now as members and non-members are trooping back. There is intensive work sprucing up the club house and boating facilities. We have opened up membership to those who do not own boat,” said Frangoulis.
Rusape Town Council housing and community services director, Morris Tekwa said they have engaged their lawyers following the objection.
“Council want all its sporting facilities to be operational for the benefit of residents. The previous tenants at the boating club have objected to us leasing the place to new people and we are now seeking legal advice from our lawyers. They last paid rentals and other licences in 2006 which is violation of the lease agreement,” he said.
The club was officially opened in 1975, three years after the completion of the dam and shut down in 2006.
The club was once a premier venue for yachting, caravanning, fishing and boat cruises.