GWERU’S Ascot stadium received scathing criticism from the visiting parliamentary portfolio on youth, sports, arts and recreation over its deplorable state.
The portfolio committee castigated Gweru City Council for not being sincere towards the development and maintenance of infrastructure in the city.
The stadium which is home of the PSL side Whawha, could force the prison wardens to look for an alternative venue, with the city council supposing that they had engaged Sheasham Investments to refurbish the facility.
It however emerged that the city fathers represented by Mayor Josaih Makombe, Town Clerk Vakai Chikwekwe and acting director of housing Unity Jaji, sentiments were otherwise as it emerged that Sheasham have invested their energy in renovating Gweru Sports Club after being turned down by the Gweru City Council over Mkoba stadium.
Ascot stadium is among the stadiums that were blacklisted by ZIFA’s First Instance Board, for failure to meet the required standards and had gotten considerable support towards renovations from TelOne FC during their stint in top flight football since it was their home ground.
Chairman of the parliamentary portfolio committee on youth, sports, arts and recreation Mathias Tongofa was livid after touring Ascot stadium.
“Football might resume soon but with this situation at Ascot I don’t think we are ready at all,” he said.
“There are a lot of things that need to be done at Ascot. I don’t know why the Gweru City Council has failed to refurbish this ground over many decades,” he added.
He suggested that they should hand it over to the corporate world or the ministry of sports while condemning council’s commitment to maintaining recreational spaces.
“It’s clear that they are not interested in this and we think it’s better for them to give it to those who can handle it better. ZIFA pointed out a lot of things which needed to be refurbished on this facility and the council is way behind from making this a better venue.
“The attitude also seems to be bad towards refurbishing these facilities since the B arena has been changed to residential stands and that will surely be investigated,” Tongofa further said.