Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
THE Premier Soccer League are set to venture into a new and exciting chapter under Farai Jere as they inch close to getting their own piece of land to build offices and end years of renting commercial property.
The development was confirmed by Harare Mayor Herbert Gomba, who revealed yesterday that the PSL has made an application for the land.
Gomba said the Premiership leadership have also engaged council in some serious follow-up meetings and they were processing their papers to establish the location and value of the land proposal.
The application is now with the valuation and estate division, which is literally the custodian of all municipal land and properties, and is responsible for all municipal valuation issues, the disposal and acquisition of land and buildings for and on behalf of the city for its various estate development programmes.
The PSL’s application is set to be discussed at the council meeting at the end of the month for approval.
“I can confirm we met the leadership from PSL and we discussed issues of common interest. We have to work together and identify how best we can work with each other to develop our city and our football.
“They are the custodians of football, so they can give us pointers on how we can improve and develop our facilities to meet world-class standards.
“I can confirm that we received their application and the city valuation division is working on it and as soon as the council has finished with their processes, we will advertise for objections and then afterwards we sign an agreement with PSL.
“It’s a process, but it may not take more than two months,” said Gomba.
He said council were keen to partner PSL in their application as they are one of the city’s biggest stakeholders in their development strategy.
Recently, the City of Harare also announced plans to construct a multi-million dollar stadium in Highglen to be used for Premiership and other high profile games.
Gomba revealed he will tour Rufaro and Gwanzura along with the PSL leadership on February 27 to get a better appreciation of the problems facing the facilities. Gwanzura has been closed for three years pending renovations after it was condemned in 2015.
“Remember we get revenue from football, so whenever one of our stakeholders raise issues, we have to respond and try to address their needs.
“If you look at the revenue that we get from Rufaro and Gwanzura, you will discover that the football fraternity have been loyal and key stakeholders since Independence.
“So we would want to work closely with them in every way possible for the benefit of our football and for our facilities as well.
“The aim is to raise the brand Harare and remember we are also pursuing the dream to make Harare a world class city by 2025,” said Gomba.
PSL have been paying commercial rates for the offices they rent in Eastlea and this development could signify a huge breakthrough.
“Lately, we have engaged the council and the responses we have received have been brilliant,’’ said Jere.
“We submitted our application for land and I am glad to say it has been considered and what is now left is the allocation.
“If you remember, this is all part of our election manifesto where we emphasised on infrastructure development. To start with, there can’t be any football when there is no infrastructure.
“Currently, we are renting offices and it’s not ideal, so we are hoping that we get our own land to build our dream structure.’’