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Row over National Sports Stadium

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A storm is brewing between the Ministry of Public Works and the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment over the use of the National Sports Stadium.

The Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment ministry wants to use the National Sports Stadium for the upcoming National Youth Games which are set to start next Saturday.

In a letter addressed to the Public Works and National Housing Ministry dated May 27 2010, the NationalYouth Games organising committee requested that they should be allowed to use the National Sports Stadium.

“The Local Organising Committee for 2010 Games, hereby request the use of the Zimbabwe National Sports Stadium for football and athletics competitions during the period of the Youth Games as well as a venue for the closing ceremony. In addition request is also made for sports equipment for the related sport disciplines,” read part of the letter.

However, the Ministry Public Works responded on June 10 indicating that the giant sports arena has already been booked and paid for by another organisation.

“With reference to your application requesting the use of the National Sports Stadium for National Youth Games, the period you have requested is already booked and paid for by another organisation.

You may consider shifting your dates to start earlier i.e. period August 2 to 6 which dates are free,” reads the response.

“We regret to advice that we cannot waive payment of hire of the stadium. We need the revenue to maintain the standards that are commensurate with a National Sports Stadium. It is not hired for free,” added the letter.

Although the letter did not reveal the organisation which has already booked the stadium, it is believed a church organisation made the first offer.

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