Zimbabwe: Council Starts Gwanzura Renovations

A worker breaks up matted turf to help with drainage at the National Sports Stadium in Harare on March 3, 2020.
26 February 2020

The Harare City Council have started renovations at Gwanzura and appointed a committee, led by Charles Kandemiri, to oversee the refurbishment of the stadium.

City engineers have been working at the stadium and repairing its drainage system, ablution facilities and its sewer reticulation system.

Engineer Charles Juta said his department was targeting to finish the laying of a modern sewer pipes, which are already on the ground, by Friday this week.

"We intend to upgrade some 23km of collapsed sewer in the Highfield area in general and the entire collapsed system at Gwanzura Stadium in particular," he said.

"The pipes were laid back in the late 1950s and they have outlived their lifespan.

"This line takes sewer from Mangwende Flats in Highfield, and several other residential areas. This is the collector sewer for all those areas.

"We intend to be done by the weekend and once we finish, there will be no sewer problems at this stadium. This marks the last time we will hear about sewer problems at the stadium.

"We are also re-aligning the collection points in the stadium toilets so that they are not connected against flow."

Work on the playing surface was scheduled to start today.

Heads of special units, within the Harare City Council, have all been dispatched to supervise the ongoing work.

Harare City high density superintendent, Maxwell Sauramba, whose section is responsible for the laying of the turf and improvement of the sitting bays, said they were on course.

"At the moment we have attended to the storm water drains and water is now flowing smoothly. The drainage system is being attended to and there are engineers to attend to that on the site," said Sauramba.

"The next stage is to cut the grass and put the new turf which we have since procured. Work on the playing surface is starting tomorrow (today) with the removal of the existing grass.

"We will be doing the levelling of the turf in due course. We should be out of here in a month's time."

A borehole, which will be used to water the surface, has already been sunk by a local company whose staff were also at the stadium yesterday.

Harare mayor, Herbert Gomba, ordered the city to finish the refurbishments by April 30.

"We have prioritised the issue of sewage and, as you can see, they are working on that," said Kandemiri. "So far, I am happy with the progress.

"We have been mandated to finish all the work on April 30 but, we are targeting to finish all the work in March so that the stadium can be able to host Premiership matches."

He said bucket seats will be fitted in the VVIP enclosure.

While there is considerable work taking place at Gwanzura, potato vendors -- who have invaded the car park at Rufaro -- are increasing by the day at the venue.

The council had promised to get rid of them three weeks ago with Housing director, Addmore Nhekairo, saying they were going to reconstruct the precast wall.

Upon completing the refurbishments of the two venues, Kandemiri said they will move to revamp Dzivaresekwa Stadium.

But, there is no progress, as yet, at the National Sports Stadium which was condemned by CAF.

The playing turf, changing rooms and doping rooms were condemned by CAF late last year resulting in the stadium being banned from hosting international matches.

But, as of yesterday, nothing had been done with the stadium looking like an abandoned facility.

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