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Dembare in anxious wait for Rufaro lease

by Staff reporter
27 Jan 2022 at 04:39hrs | Views
PREMIERSHIP footbal giants Dynamos are anxiously waiting for the response from the Harare City Council on their request to acquire Rufaro Stadium on a lease agreement.

The stadium, which holds a lot of historical significance for domestic football and for Dynamos in particular, is currently in a bad state.

The Harare City Council have revealed they are not in a position to maintain the ground any time soon because of many commitments they face with regards to community service provision.

DeMbare made an audacious bid late last year when they approached the City Fathers with a proposal to acquire the stadium under a long-term lease agreement.

Dynamos chairman, Isaiah Mupfurutsa, yesterday said they believe their request was under serious consideration by the council.

"This is something that we would not want to discuss at the moment because we believe this is purely a business matter that is still in its infancy.

"Of course, we started the initiative but we are yet to get a response from the council on that request. We believe it's still under consideration.

"This is something that we believe will benefit not only our club and the council, but the whole football family because other teams will also be allowed to use the venue, just like we did when teams travelled to Baobab and Mandava for the Chibuku Super Cup games.

"The plan is to renovate and maintain the stadium so that it becomes a decent venue. We have some partners already in place and I am sure we can identify a few more potential partners that we can work with in this project," said Mupfurutsa.

Rufaro has been shut for the past three years to allow refurbishments after it fell short of the required standards for local top-flight football action.

A visit to the stadium by The Herald last Friday showed that the stadium has deteriorated to worse standards than it was when it was closed some time back.

Apparently, the council is "overwhelmed" by many other commitments that include provision of health services, refuse collection, provision of clean water and sanitation.

Dynamos requested to be granted a long-term lease, by the City of Harare, for the use of Rufaro. In return, the club has offered to develop the stadium to meet international standards.

The Glamour Boys are currently in good financial standing after agreeing to a lucrative deal with Sakunda Holdings who they can also approach to facilitate more partnerships for their envisaged projects.

During a council meeting held sometime in the last few months, the City Fathers heard that Dynamos and their sponsors had approached the authorities with a proposal to develop Rufaro to international standards.

"In a proposal sent to the council by Dynamos Football Club, the club said it would develop a world-class soccer field with excellent turf, irrigation systems and good drainage that allows matches to continue even when raining," the minutes read.

"There will be the installation of spectator bucket seats that meet Caf and Fifa specifications, construction of supporting facilities including changing rooms, toilets and media rooms that comply with Caf and Fifa requirements.

"Installation of lighting systems that meet Caf and Fifa specifications, installation of electronic turnstiles and ticketing system."

The committee also heard that the club would install a perimeter fence. Dynamos also offered to have "offices to let to business, restaurants, sports shops, etc to ensure that the centre carried commercial activities every day of the week, and any other improvements required to support the recommendations from Caf and Fifa".

"The Committee discussed the matter expressing the need for clarification on whether it was Dynamos or their sponsor mentioned in the meeting who had offered to refurbish Rufaro Stadium.

"It also asserted that the offer needed to be clear on what they intended to do, the term ‘long lease' was too broad to enable the council to understand the duration of the intended timeframe of the proposed Memorandum of Agreement."

Source - The Chronicle
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