MUTARE residents yesterday applauded the local municipality for recognising the importance of recreational facilities in the city after putting an advert to lease council land to the Zimbabwe Cricket to build an international stadium in the tourist city.
The response by residents comes after some spirited efforts by Zanu PF Mutare district coordination committee chairperson Binali Yard to have some of the land to build 200 residential stands benefiting party supporters.
He has since been called to order by his party while the Local Government ministry said they were not going to change recreational facilities into residential stands.
Mutare City Council this week issued an advert in a local newspaper saying anyone wishing to make objections must lodge the same in writing within 21 days.
“Notice is hereby given in terms of section 152 of the Urban Councils Act Chapter 29:15 that council intends to lease 28178 Dangamvura Township measuring 19 hectares to the Zimbabwe Cricket for the purpose of developing an international stadium,” read the advert
“The conditions are available at council for scrutiny during the 21-day period. Any person wishing to make objections must lodge the same in writing with the undersigned within a period of 21 days from the date of this publication,” the advert added
In an interview with NewsDay Sport United Mutare Residents and Ratepayers Trust programmes manager Edson Dube said all social services were important.
“All social services are important; housing, water, refuse collection, recreation is important. There is no other social service more important than the other; we need education services, we need schools as well,” he said
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“To then say that housing is more important than others, l don’t think we will be doing justice, you also find out that in an modern city or urban development there should be spaces reserved for recreational facilities
“There must be spaces reserved for recreational facilities, they take kids away from drugs, they breed a health society, recreational facilities keep kids away from drugs, they breed a healthy society, they offer environments to refresh and unlock talent in our children,” he added
He said bringing an international facility in the sprawling suburb of Dangamvura will also bring revenue to the provincial capital of Manicaland.
Mutare City is renovating Sakubva Stadium and Chisamba grounds in the eastern border city.
Acting Mutare town clerk Blessing Chafesuka was not available for comment yesterday.