Gwasira pledges Rufaro support


Austin Karonga

RUFARO Stadium will soon have new and modern changing rooms that meet Fifa and Caf standards after former Lengthens FC director Beadle Gwasira pledged to help finance the development.

At the moment, the Warriors and various national teams cannot host international matches at home after Caf condemned all of Zimbabwe’s stadia as unfit.

The Harare City Council (HCC)-owned venue is currently under renovations since March and there was no space to expand the existing changing rooms.

A new site near the main entrance where the new facilities will be built has already been identified and once complete, players and officials will use a tunnel to access the pitch.

“We just wanted to hear about the challenges HCC is facing on repairing of the ground and see where we can also chip in to help and speed up the process because we love our game, we love football,” Gwasira, a former HCC councillor, told the Daily News during a recent visit earlier this week.

“We really need sort the issue of the toilets and the changing rooms. They need to be repaired in time and we are also going to help with the construction of the changing rooms.

“We are going to offer them cement, bricks and all the building material required for the changing rooms.”

Although Lengthens, who were known as the Happy People, went bust upon their relegation at the end of the 2011 season, Gwasira said his affection for the beautiful game never diminished.

“I have been watching football ever since we were relegated from Premier League football and we still have interest in football as a whole,” he said.

“Right now, we are just in it for football and not at club level but we are just taking the responsibility to ensure that football is played in Zimbabwe and not to see our national team playing home matches on foreign land.”

Beside the pledge to help with the new Rufaro changing rooms, Gwasira has already donated cement and a refrigerator to the Bulawayo City Council to go towards the renovations at Barbourfields Stadium.

Meanwhile, HCC acting head of grounds renovations committee Obert Mutonhori said they are facing procurement challenges due to coronavirus (Covid-19).

“The lockdown affected us two fold; our own workers were under lockdown; we only remained with a limited number who were focusing on essential services,” Mutonhori said.

“Our suppliers could not supply because they were also under lockdown and by the time the lockdown was partially lifted, that was the time when we expected our suppliers to start supplying the materials for use.

“As a result we ended up having to revisit the whole supply chain process of procuring the materials for this same project because the prices had gone up.”

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