‘Prophet’ Angel’s unfulfilled Gwanzura Stadium promise…….’Mini FNB’ remains a pipe dream

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By Darlington Gatsi

IT appears the promised ‘angelic’ revamping of one of the country’s oldest football stadia, Gwanzura Stadium, remains a pipe dream despite the pledge by the popular cleric and Presidential Envoy and Ambassador at large to Europe and the Americas Uebert Angel.

The flamboyant clergyman has not yet fulfilled his promise to uplift Gwanzura Stadium, as the traditional football arena continues to be a white elephant, just over a year since he made the pledge.

In a pledge which received a lot of media hype, Angel promised to renovate Gwanzura Stadium after reportedly pouring an initial US$50 000 through the OPEAAL Mnangagwa Fund which he launched after his appointment as Ambassador at large to Europe and Americas.

Angel pledged to transform the stadium’s quagmire into a ‘mini FNB’. FNB Stadium is an iconic 87 436-seater stadium, the largest venue in South Africa and hosted 2010 FIFA World Cup Final.

Uebert Angel

The transformation appears to be a mirage if the current state of Gwanzura Stadium is anything to go by.

The dilapidated infrastructure resembles a lucerne field with tufted grass poking through the gaps of the concrete terraces.

The pitch has since been overtaken by the overgrown weeds while, promised water pipes that would have been supposedly sprinkling the turf are nowhere in sight.

Gwanzura was touted as one of the grounds that had been earmarked to be used in the upcoming Premier Soccer League (PSL) season.

Football lovers are likely to endure another wait for a return to the ground that in the past used to host topflight matches.

A combination of broken promises and neglect by the Harare City Council has witnessed the once iconic football stadium crumbling into a pale shadow of its former self.

Gwanzura Stadium is a microcosm of the state of sporting infrastructure in Zimbabwe.

Football arenas have deteriorated with FIFA in 2021 ruling that no stadium in the country was fit to host its sanctioned matches.

An official from Harare City Council said it is in the process of crafting plans to breathe new life into Gwanzura Stadium.

City Council is in the process of sprucing up Rufaro Stadium in a joint venture with City Parking.

“Gwanzura will also be fixed. The timelines will be clarified when the mapping is complete,” said an official.

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