Chamber of Chinese Enterprises in Zimbabwe refurbishes George Hartley Pool in Mbare
THE Chamber of Chinese Enterprises Zimbabwe (CCEZ) yesterday handed over the fully refurbished George Hartley Swimming Pool in Mbare, which had been lying idle for over three years.
The swimming pool, situated opposite the famous Stodart Hall sat Mbare’s Community Centre, had been in a dilapidated state through wear and tear, vandalism and neglect and CCEZ poured a total of US$52 000 to refurbish the recreational facility.
CCEZ vice-chairperson, Shanel Liu, said the Chamber, a Zimbabwe registered business association, initiated by Chinese-funded enterprises and institutions, was proud to have contributed to the welfare of the members of the Mbare community through refurbishing the swimming pool, an initiative which will be more significant to the youngsters and aspiring young swimmers.
She said the chamber is committed to promoting mutual contacts and strengthen business ties as well as cultural exchange between China and Zimbabwe.
Liu said as much as CCEZ seeks to promote business activities between Zimbabwe and China, the organisation firmly embraces the business culture of ploughing back into the community in which its members operate through carefully structured and sustainable Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
“This commitment has seen us take up this life-changing project to spruce up George Hartley Swimming Pool at a cost of US$52 000.
The Chamber fully understands that the swimming pool serves as a community hub for sports, recreation and leisure hence we did not hesitate to help renovate it,” said Liu.
She said CCEZ delighted to have breathed life into this facility in which close to 50 educational institutions from ECD, primary and secondary schools in and around Mbare used to train children to swim.
“The importance of this swimming pool should never be underestimated as it is not only about recreation but is also a facility that will keep the youths positively engaged off the streets.
“As they say ‘an idle mind is the devil’s playing ground’ we hope to ensure that the youths in Mbare and its environs such as Sunningdale and Ardbennie will now have a healthy pass time which will keep them well clear of the menace of drugs and other vices,” Liu said.
In addition to helping keep the youths off the streets, the swimming pool, popularly known as “KwaNowero’’ in Mbare, is a source of employment creation as it will be manned and run by people who will earn a living out of doing this as well as other downstream opportunities.
Presently, the Chamber has over 80 members operating across the various economic sectors in Zimbabwe such as agriculture, farming, mining, infrastructure development, telecommunication, trade, manufacturing, logistics and transportation sectors.
Receiving the swimming pool, Harare Mayor, Jacob Mufume, thanked the CCEZ for refurbishing the facility without requesting for any other favour from the Harare City Council.
“We should applaud such endeavours. We should appreciate as a city when businesses give to the community.
“A lot of our business people believe they need a piece of land or something to help the city develop but it is good that a city is built by its business people,’’ said Mafume.