Mugabe bash preps in chaos

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Preparations for President Robert Mugabes highly-publicised 88th birthday celebrations at Sakubva Stadium tomorrow are in shambles as final touches to the dilapidated venue had not been completed by yesterday.

During a briefing of all sub-committees at the venue on Tuesday, Zanu PF provincial members were shocked at the state of Sakubva Stadium.

The meeting was prematurely aborted as senior members exchanged heated words over the way preparations for Mugabes birthday bash were handled. But Zanu PF Manicaland province deputy spokesperson Charles Samuriwo put a brave face saying all will be in order, come tomorrow.

You need to know that Zanu PF preparations will be in order at the time of the event no matter what setback. We had an emergency meeting with the chairmen of all the sub-committees where they were tasked to put in place everything that needs to be attended to by Friday (today).

This is just a minor setback and for sure everything that needs to be worked out will be in order for the big event, Samuriwo said.

According to another senior official who attended the aborted briefing, the fundraising committee failed to raise money to finance the renovations that began in January.

We were supposed to be briefed on the level of preparedness by several committees organising the event (transport, health, entertainment, security, logistics among others) on what they have done so far, but we observed that nothing really had been put in place according to plan.

Senior provincial members and war veterans exchanged heated words over allegations of lack of seriousness due to the manner in which preparations are being handled.

This caused the meeting to be aborted leaving only the logistics committee at the venue to strategise on ways to fast-track the preparations, the official said.

Part of the infrastructure that was set to be renovated includes the car park, toilets, water system, VIP stand and fence at the stadium. The toilet facilities remain a nightmare as most of them are dysfunctional.

The car park, where a grader was expected to clear the ground, was still in a sorry state and ablution facilities had not been renovated.

On Wednesday evening workers at the venue were working under floodlights as they made frantic efforts to complete the task at hand before the fte. Vendors who used to sell their wares just outside the stadium were removed to pave way for the car park.

Sakubva Stadium has been condemned on numerous occasions and recently the Bob 88 Trophy football semi-final between Hwange and FC Platinum was moved to Rufaro Stadium in Harare owing to the state of the pitch.