From Anesushe Mamhute in Chiredzi, Zimbabwe
Once a prominent conveyor belt of talent, hosting
first division football matches, Tshovani Stadium in Chiredzi is now
a shadow of its former self following years of neglect by city
What used to be a superb venue at the heyday of City Stars, Winders FC
and later Chiredzi Stars, the arena has degenerated into a wreck with
cracks all over the stands that are falling apart.
The formerly plush pitch is a bumpy surface that is a recipe for injury
and an eyesore while the toilets are no longer in use, disintegrating
into a health hazard.
This is a far cry from the ground that groomed such yesteryear stars as
Godfrey Masvuvela, now the coach for ZPC Kariba, Debris Machingambi,
Trust Manyora and Norman Togara, who all made names for themselves in
the elite league.
The decline of the standards at the Tshovani Stadium has resulted in
locals being starved of the favourite sport and team as the Chiredzi
Stars are now forced to take its games to the Chishamiso Stadium in
Football authorities have ruled Tshovani Stadium as substandard to host
first division matches.
Paddington Mudhara, one of the stars groomed at the venue before joining
the famous Caps United in the capital Harare, blamed the Chiredzi Town
Council for getting its priorities wrong.
“Refurbishment of Tshovani Stadium should be among the most prioritised
projects in the council because it (council) runs profitably all year
round," he said in an interview with CAJ News.
“People in Churedzi love soccer but it makes no sense at all to use
Chishamiso Stadium when we have our own field. It is not only about
soccer. Our town council should understand that it will generate profit
by reconditioning Tshovani Stadium.”
Melody Muza also pointed out that while Tshovani Stadium was lying
derelict, leading companies were complicit and only investing in golf
courses that are arguably the best in the country.
“The council is just resilient to engage with such stakeholders,” Muza
Ropafadzo Makumire, the Ward 3 councilor, under whose jurisdiction the
stadium lies, bemoaned lack of funds to maintain the facility.
“There is a need to refurbish the arena to meet the standards of first
division football and even premiership level but financial restraints
hinder such developments," Makumire said.
Nodalt Dube, a building contractor, said to meet standards required by
football authorities, work must be done on the borehole to provide water
for the loan.
He said a 700 metre perimeter fence was needed, as well as the
refurbishment of toilets.
- CAJ News