MUTARE–Minister of State for Manicaland Province Ellen
Gwaradzimba has blasted Kennedy Ndebele the Chief Executive Officer of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League of sabotage over his
‘individual’ decision of reversing the use of Vengere stadium for
premier league matches.
Gwaradzimba is also the Patron of Mutare based Manica Diamonds FC. The team is currently using Gibbo stadium in Triangle as its home ground following Ndebele’s decision to bar the team from using Vengere stadium as its home ground.
The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) First Instance Board a
fortnight ago approved Vengere Stadium in Rusape to host premier
league games, but Ndebele has reversed the decision.
“I do not know what he (Ndebele) is trying to prove. He is sabotaging
the team and this is no longer football. Maybe he has other motives other than football,” said a visibly angry Gwaradzimba.
“This is sabotage. I am going to Harare and I want to get to the
bottom of this. I will meet the relevant authorities regarding this
issue. The whole province cannot suffer because of one person. I don’t
understand what he is talking about in terms of the ground’s
preparedness,” said the minister.
“How can one person overturns a decision made by a committee that went on the ground to inspect the stadium? This is totally unfair,” said
On May 14, Zifa Secretary General Joseph Mamutse wrote a letter to Ndebele and the Rusape town council notifying them of the approval of the facility to host elite matches, but Ndebele turned it down.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association would like to inform you that
following the inspection of Vengere Stadium, the First Instance Board
(FIB) has resolved to provisionally homologate the Stadium to host PSL
matches. The FIB will also continuously conduct spot checks at the
Stadium,” reads Zifa’s letter to Rusape Town Council and Manica
However, Ndebele short down the approval. In his letter to Mamutse, Manica Diamonds and Rusape Town Council, Ndebele claimed that there had been matters to be addressed before theStadium could be used. In the letter Ndebele agued that the reserve goal posts are not
available at the Stadium.
“We are concerned about the state of the playing surface which is
uneven and the surface below and around the western goal area is bumpy and uneven,” reads the letter.
“The available doping and first aid room was noted to be far and
outside of the dressing rooms area and not fully equipped with all the
necessary medical equipment,” reads the letter.
In his letter Ndebele noted that the surface area below the goal posts
must be levelled for proper alignment to maintain the correct measurements.
He said the stadium authorities must have a technical expert to check
and measure the goal posts and pitch markings to meet the minimum
“The state of the pitch is very dry and lacks adequate watering due to persistent power cuts in the area. Stadium representatives have not availed alternative plans to ensure the pitch is properly watered in light of the increased load shedding that the country is experiencing,” reads the letter.
“We recommend that the items listed above are attended to before the
Stadium can host PSL matches,” said Ndebele.