4 May 2018

Zimbabwe: Headway in ZOC Project

The Zimbabwe Olympic Committee president Admire Masenda has revealed they are making some progress with the Epworth Local Board regarding the Olympafrica Centre project in Epworth. The project was initially set to take off in 2016 after the ground-breaking ceremony held on April 25 that same year, but up to now work is still to start after part of the land earmarked for the project was occupied by informal settlers.

The project is the brainchild of one of Epworth's most illustrious sons, Musekiwa Kumbula, who approached the Epworth Local Board with the idea of setting up the Olympafrica Centre in the area before they got into partnership with ZOC.

The project was going to be funded by the International Olympic Committee through the Olympafrica Foundation and managed by ZOC and supported by the relevant local authorities.

The National Olympic Committee had already secured part of the funds for the project.

Masenda yesterday said the main sticking point was on how to proceed with the project including the specifying the roles of the involved parties.

But he also noted that they are making progress.

"I think we have come to an understating on how we want to progress. What we have now done is on our board we have an engineer Frederick Ndlovu, so we have our engineer and their engineer, they are now going to come up with recommendations on how best we should proceed in the most cost effective way.

"About two weeks ago we had a little bit of a stand-off between us and ELB, we were not on the same page," said Masenda.

Masenda admitted the pace at which the project has been moving has put them under pressure.

"Pressure is still on, Olympafrica (Foundation) had effectively said they would give us until April the 30th.

"We are going to be writing to Olympafrica to actually indicate that the issue had been on us agreeing on how to proceed with the local authority, but we have come to an agreement and we would like to proceed," said Masenda.

The ZOC president said while part of the land has been occupied they can still start working on the other part that has not been affected.

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