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No timeline for National Sports Stadium renovations as govt sets up committee to fast-track process

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By Sport Reporter


Hopes of having the National Sports Stadium ready for international football in June as promised earlier this year have been dashed as more still needs to be done for the sports giant facility to meet required standards.

A committee tasked with fast-tracking these renovations which started last year has been established.

This was revealed during a tour around the facility on Tuesday by Vice President Kembo Mohadi.

However, no clear timeline was given this time around by the government.

“There are timelines and we have tasked all the teams handling the National Sports Stadium to come up with a second-best option on how best we can accelerate the completion of the renovations.

“We have also set up a committee to look into that, we have requested reports which we will submit to the Vice President,” revealed acting Minister of Sport Jenfan Muswere who accompanied Vice President Mohadi for the tour.

VP Mohadi touring the National Sports Stadium.

But Where Are We?

Zimbabwe is currently going through a stadium crisis with no CAF-approved facility to host international games.

This has forced the Warriors to host their upcoming World Cup Qualifier against Lesotho at Orlando Stadium in South Africa next month.

Nothing has been done yet to the important areas which need a facelift at National Sports Stadium – a sign that the renovations are moving slowly.

The terrace is still the same, no new bucket seats have been installed save for those put on the VIP section many years ago.

The changing rooms on the other end still have the same old furniture which badly needs attention.

The only noticeable change is an open drainage around the stadium which is to have new pipes fitted to improve the water reticulation system.

There is also a need for new turnstiles to help with a modernized electronic ticketing system.

“I have set myself on this tour because Zimbabwe in the region is one of the countries that have been disqualified to host either CAF or FIFA tournaments.

“To us that is not a good thing, through the Ministry of Sport we then gave an order that we need to revamp our sporting facilities,” said Mohadi after completing his tour assessing sporting facilities in Harare.

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Was there ever enough money to complete the renovations?

After the tour, the Ministry was tasked to submit its report to the Vice President before the end of the week together with the budgets of what is needed to speed up the renovations.

Lack of funding is one of the major setbacks for National Sports Stadium. The Ministry of Sport Recreation Arts and Culture was given ZWL 136 billion during the 2024 budget, of that amount only ZWL 24 billion was specifically for the National Sports Stadium, however, it was not enough.

 The Ministry was further advised to engage in a public-private partnership which they have since done.

Although the agreement of the deal and duties to be played by the new partner remain a mystery, however unconfirmed reports indicate that giant energy company Sakunda Holdings partnered with the government early this year to help with the renovation process.