Harare city council has budgeted more than $1.4 million for the construction of a new state of the art stadium as the city gears up for any eventuality to host major regional and international tournaments.
In its $472 million 2019 budget presented on Monday, the city budgeted for the money to come up with a stadium to add to its three, Rufaro, Gwanzura stadium and Dzivarasekwa stadium.
Council spokesperson Michael Chideme said the new stadium will be situated in the High Glen area and was part of council drive to remain prepared and focus in the vision to host major tournaments including Afcon, Cosafa or World Cup.
“As a country we must aspire to host major games Cosafa, Afcon and we can only do that with proper facilities. A smart city can’t come without smart facilities and this is a move to show our willingness,” Chideme said.
“The stadium will be multipurpose and will not only host soccer matches but will be used for weddings, musical galas and will have shops among other facilities.”
Another $120 000 has been availed to install bucket seats at Rufaro stadium in Mbare, a stadium used by Dynamos FC and Harare City as their home ground.
Observers said however council was failing to properly run its existing stadiums with Gwanzura and Dzivarasekwa no longer fit for purpose.
Harare announced a budget the centred mainly on the Smart city concept that also encouraged the private sector to invest in adopting city roads and buildings.
Econet Zimbabwe has since adopted First Street to make it a world class street.
Harare Mayor Thomas Gomba and former Deputy Minister for Local government Sessel Zvidzai have described the budget as pro-poor.
Finance committee chairperson councillor Luckson Mukunguma however bemoaned unavailability of foreign currency as a major stumbling block in service provision adding that the central bank had promised to avail the much needed money to address some challenges.