Harare City Council directed to work with stakeholders on renovating Rufaro stadium

(New Ziana)


The move by the government to bar the City of Harare local authority from commissioning the stadium on Thursday was not political as the local authority cannot operate alone while leaving out crucial stakeholders, a senior official has said. Harare Metropolitan Province permanent secretary Tafadzwa Muguti said as part of the government, the local authority should have consulted and worked closely with the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of stadiums, including the design and construction of public infrastructure.

He said in the event that an accident or safety challenges occur at the stadium, the general public will point fingers at the government, hence the need to involve it to ensure recommended standards are met. The City of Harare embarked on a massive and much appreciated move to renovate Rufaro Stadium but made a fundamental mistake of alone and not checking for standards with core stakeholders including government arms that may raise health, safety and security issues. “The city of Harare cannot be the builder and certifier of their own project especially if it is public infrastructure,” said Muguti.

“The Ministry of Sports, Arts and Recreation was not involved yet they should stand guided by that Ministry, the Sports and Recreation Committee was not involved, crucial stakeholders such as the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) and the Premier Soccer league (PSL) were not involved. “Building and renovating a stadium is not a one man’s job, it is a collective effort of all stakeholders. Certification of all that is meant to be under the said Ministry and this was clearly communicated to the City of Harare officials but they decided to go ahead.”

He said the same principle applied to the National Sports Stadiums, which will also follow certain procedures before being commissioned. “As we all know Zimbabwe football had been under suspension from international competitions for almost two years but the great news is that we are now back and as such we are not going to compromise. “We also need to revamp Gwanzura (in Highfield) and Chibuku (in Chitungwiza) stadia. All those need to meet international standards,” he said. Muguti said the government has since advised city mayor Jacob Mafume to set up a committee at provincial level to include crucial stakeholders that will see a well-coordinated approach in the renovation of the stadium.

“We have to appreciate that a local authority is part of government, they are not an independent state or country, they are part of government and under the Constitution they report to the provincial government which then reports to central government and as such that is the directive communicated to them. “If that is followed then the project will be a success,” said Muguti.

New Ziana

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