Gweru Sports Club remains defiant despite eviction notice

Gweru Sports Club (GSC) is still conducting its business as usual nearly two months after the lapse of the deadline it had been given by the city fathers to vacate the premises to pave way for the city’s expansion.

In July last year, Gweru City Council (GCC) notified the club in writing of its intention to repossess the land currently occupied by the sports facility to pave way for the expansion of the city.
In the letter, GCC said it is in the process of preparing the extension layout plan for its central business district (CBD), covering the area currently occupied by GSC and the Midlands Academy of Music.

The plan is intended to create additional commercial stands to accommodate more investors who have shown interests to invest in Gweru due to its size and strategic location within the province.
GSC was given up to six months to wind up its business and vacate the premises by January 31, 2019.

The decision by council sparked an outcry from various stakeholders including sports associations and fans.
It is being feared that council’s decision could erase part of the city’s historic sports facility which celebrated its centenary anniversary last year.

It now seems like council has developed cold feet over implementing the plan as two months have since lapsed since the expiry of the deadline.
GSC is also not going down without a fight.
Despite the eviction, GSC chairperson John Makuwalo narrated to the Daily News on Sunday a fully-packed programme being pursued by the club at the facility.

Instead of packing their belongings, they have engaged their stakeholders and the ministry of Sports and the Sports and Recreation Commission on how they could revive the club.
In August this year, the club will be hosting the National Youth Games.
In preparation for the games, the rugby, cricket and soccer fields are being prepared so that they can be ready for use by the time of the tournament.

“The squash courts are now in use and functional for the first time in five years and soon we will be hosting Harare Sports Club, who will be here for a two-day tournament. Our tennis courts will be renovated soon; all the material is now there,” he said.
Makuwalo highlighted that most of the sporting disciplines offered at the club should be fully functional by mid-year, adding that the club is in discussions with a South African sports club for a possible twinning programme.

“Our volleyball and beach volleyball courts will be up and running by July, the bowling is doing well, they are playing in their league,” he said.
“In rugby, they will be starting their season soon and over the weekend the team will be in Chegutu.
“The cricket team is also playing and our Under-13 team was invited for a cricket tournament in Victoria Falls in April which is good for the young lads.
“We are also trying to create synergies with other international sports clubs and we are engaging a South African sports club with the view of having a twinning partnership that should be beneficial to both parties.” 

Last month, the Zimbabwe Handball Federation through secretary general Edson Chirowodza wrote to the GSC requesting for land to construct two handball pitches at Gweru’s only multi-sport facility.
“….we request for land to construct two beach handball fields. Each field will occupy a space of 30x50 meters of river sand,” Chirowodza wrote.
“The Zimbabwe Handball Federation has successfully introduced the game of handball in all provinces…
“….against this background we therefore kindly request for your support in providing facilities for beach handball. 
“Zimbabwe Handball Federation Board has chosen Gweru as a centre as it is central within the country.”

Makuwalo confirmed the development without giving much detail on when the work will commence.
“The Zimbabwe Handball Federation will be very soon putting two state-of-the-art beach handball facilities at the sports club,” he said.Gweru Sports Club remains defiant despite eviction notice.

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