Story by Lawrence Trusida, Sports Editor
THE much-touted commissioning of Rufaro Stadium by the City of Harare failed to take place as planned this Thursday with the ceremonial home of local football not yet ready to host matches.
Harare City Council officials were unperturbed by the presence of their guests and their arrogance extended to not explaining the prevailing situation.
Rufaro Stadium has been closed since 2019 after it was condemned by the First Instance Board, as it did not meet Premier Soccer League standards.
The main areas of concern then were the dressing rooms which were deemed too small as well as the public toilets which were in a sorry state, while the entry points were not working.
Last year, the local authority promised that the stadium would be ready before the start of the current Premier Soccer League season, but that deadline was not met.
The Mayor of Harare, Jacob Mafume went on to give other false promises that have since become a boring chorus.
First, it was March, then May, before shifting to July, with the latest August 4 deadline also being missed.
Only the perimeter wall and the car park have been completed, but the football side of the facility is still a big issue.
Rufaro Stadium is nowhere near being commissioned if the definition of commissioning is anything to go by.
Major construction works are still ongoing, the dressing rooms are still far from being finished and there has been no action on the public toilets that are still the same as they were five years ago.
The much-publicised turf is looking lash green but, it is bumpy and has contours and one wonders what happened to the drainage system the Mayor was talking about as the field is damp.
There has been no work on the VIP grandstand which was also condemned by the First Instance Board, as it was deemed dangerous to public safety, with lights and public address speakers that are falling off.
The guests, the Premier Soccer League, clubs, and the media were all left wondering.
Harare giants Dynamos, CAPS United and the other teams in town Yadah and Herentals have to wait a bit longer to play their matches at Rufaro Stadium.