An angel from above descends on Gwanzura

the herald

Grace Chingoma –Senior Sports Journalist

PRESIDENTIAL Envoy and Goodwill Ambassador for the Americas and Europe, Prophet Uebert Angel, has pledged to bring in more investors to partner with him in the renovation of Gwanzura Stadium after injecting an initial $50,000 USD for the project.

Work on Highfield’s dilapidated infrastructure began this week with Harare City Council in partnership with the Office of the Goodwill Ambassador.

As concerns continued to be raised about the collapse of facilities owned by the Harare City Council over the years, with the council not making much progress in resuscitating these facilities, private partners decided to salvage the situation.

The pitch of the old stadium has been removed and a grader was clearing the pitch yesterday, removing the spoil. An underground irrigation system will be installed and then new grass, which has already been secured by Harare City Council, will be laid.

Funds from the Prophet Angel office will cover proper irrigation on the pitch while press booths, VIP toilets and changing rooms will also be given a makeover during the facelift.

The maintenance work should be completed by the middle of the year.

Angel’s chief investment officer, Sobona Mtisi, told reporters during the Gwanzura tour yesterday that they were part of the drive to attract investment to the country through sport.

“Our partnership with the City of Harare was a response to President Mnangagwa’s call to invest in sports facilities, and Ambassador Uebert Angel took it upon himself to raise funds to renovate the critically important Gwanzura Stadium. for the country, and Highfield is our base for Zimbabwean sport, and we thought Gwanzura would be the best place to start investing and renovating, bringing it back to the community.

“We want to see the works complete, we don’t want to do things halfway, but to make sure people come back to these stadiums to play, not only the community but also the national teams will come here and play and hand it over to us at nine by FIFA standards,” Mtisi said.

Although a capital injection of $50,000 has been deposited, Mtisi is confident that some Zimbabweans in the diaspora will also help bring the facility up to modern standards.

“We will most likely increase the budget, we will talk to our partners and may add as more partners join us.

“We have a lot of people who are ready to support the renovation of Gwanzura, people from the diaspora who grew up in Highfield and who want to participate and see the stadium return to its former glory,” said Mtisi.

Harare City Council Education, Health, Housing, Community, Services and Licensing Committee Chairman Parton Tafadzwa Mangwiro-Chikwakwa said he was grateful for the support and that he would complement the efforts of the ambassador.

They hope to have the work completed by mid-season.

“I’m not entirely sure of the timing at the moment, but we expect that halfway through this stadium will be usable for Premier Soccer League matches,” he said.

Mangwiro-Chikwakwa further gave a breakdown of the sections of the stadium that will be financially supported by the ambassador, as well as the role that will be played by the council.

The council has already purchased the lawn and other accessories needed to carry out the work.

“We have come to appreciate the work done here by the City Council and Ambassador Uebert Angel. Currently the city council is clearing the land, as you saw the grass has been cleared, and now after removing the spoil, with funding from Uebert Angel, which is about $50,000, they have committed to properly install the irrigation on the ground, then the council will put the new grass here. Prophet Uebert Angel has also undertaken to renovate the media booth, VIP toilets, one changing room, the other changing room being carried out by the City of Harare,” he said.

Contacts between the Council and the office of the Goodwill Ambassador began in November and ended with both parties agreeing to renovate the stadium.

“We expect more. We really appreciate the commitment. We look forward to more such partnerships. Even for other stadiums, and even for the High Glen stadium, it is in our plans. Currently we don’t have the funding, but we really appreciate the companies and other players who come up with the funding to make the dreams we have as a city a reality.

“They are committed and the city of Harare is also committed,” Mangwiro-Chikwakwa said.

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