By Own Correspondent

File picture of Sakubva Stadium in Mutare

The high cost of submitted tenders has stalled the completion of the Sakubva Stadium upgrade exercise, a senior official has said.

City of Mutare (COM) acting Town Clerk Blessing Chafesuka said the tender process has hit a brickwall.

This is after bidders charged nearly US$1 million to upgrade the turf and drainage system only.

Chafesuka said the local authority had budgeted less than a third of the amount for the project.

“They wanted US$1 million for just (the) turf surface and drainage (system).

“That was way beyond our budget.”

“We had budgeted US$300,000 for the turf,” Chafesuka added.

This was the third attempt by council to try and lure partners.

The local authority was looking forward to the third tender as they were encouraged by responses from several bidders but could not meet the cost.

The other two unsuccessful tenders only managed to attract one bidder and subsequently failed on due diligence.

The development comes after the local authority self funded major renovations at the stadium for the past three years.

According to records, council collected ZWL$2.6 million last year from Sakubva Stadium.

At the time it was equivalent to a mere US$10,000 using the official exchange rate.

“We have not given up, but this is a capital intensive project,” COM said in a statement.

Sakubva and several other facilities, was banned from hosting Premier Soccer Leagues (PSL) matches by Zifa’s First Instance Body (FIB) owing to it’s derelict state.

This has affected local teams such as Mutare City Rovers, which have to use the National Sports Stadium in Harare.

Manica Diamonds has had to use Gibo Stadium in Triangle at some point before moving to Vhengere Stadium in Rusape.

Multiple Projects

Apart from Sakubva Stadium renovations, the local authority is spearheading several other infrastructure development projects.

The local authority is expected to open Gimboki School at the beginning of next term, which is at an advanced stage of construction.

However, construction of Hobhouse PolyClinic has been put on hold following a land ownership dispute.

“Council will now wait and get guidance from the outcome of the court process,” the local authority said in a statement.

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