Bulawayo’s Iconic Recreational Parks Now An Eyesore

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

MOST Bulawayo city council owned recreational facilities are at an advanced state of disrepair and neglect.

The glamour and once lush green lawns which used to boast the parks have all disappeared with only bare and dusty grounds now remaining.

The iconic Centenary Park which has hosted the ceremonial switching on of Christmas lights for a very long time is now an eyesore. Other affected parks also include Nketa and Mpopoma parks.

Residents who spoke to complained bitterly about the neglect of the amenities including the city’s swimming pools in the high –density suburbs which are no longer functioning.

“During my teenage days in the early 90s, the lawns in the parks gardens were well manicured and maintained by council. I remember as well, I and my friends used to attend the glamorous lighting of the Christmas lights in Nketa but all this has gone,” said Nancy Banda, a Nketa resident.

Another resident, Charles Ndlovu also bemoaned the demise of social amenities in the city.

“Social amenities such as swimming pools and youth centres used to keep youths busy and occupied. Now, these days a lot of youths spend most of their time just loitering in the locations with nothing to do. Council should revive these facilities,” said Ndlovu.

A recent tour of some of the facilities by this publication also revealed that some of the parks are now a haven for criminal and ant-social activities such as prostitution and drug smoking. The residents also expressed concern over old street trees which have now become a danger especially during this rain season.

Most of the city’s street trees are very old and some are now dangerous to the citizens. With rain season now upon us these trees pose serious danger to the public. The city has blamed the current water shortages on the parks’ sorry state.