City of Harare mayor Jacob Mafume has responded to Sakunda Holdings’ withdrawal from the renovation of Rufaro Stadium.
The energy company had planned to renovate the football venue after receiving a long-term lease contract from the City Council, who owns the stadium, in March.
The planned renovation included installing bucket seats, refurbishing the sewer and water reticulation system as well as constructing a road to the football match venue
Sakunda wrote a letter to the council last week, informing the stadium owners about their withdrawal and acussing them of reneging on the signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
But Mafume has hit back at the energy firm, suggesting that the company wanted to trick them and benefit more from the deal.
“If people want the naming rights, it’s OK. We can negotiate but not something for a bowl of soup,” the mayor told reporters on Wednesday.
“We negotiate in a respectful manner, agreement and terms that are beneficial to the residents.”
He added: “We never said that we don’t want to partner with them (Sakunda), that’s what the world is doing (selling naming rights).
“But we subject everything that we produce to government procurement, audit general and other institutions that guide our process (of selecting partners).”
Mafume vowed to renovate the stadium using the council’s funds.
“People will play football at Rufaro Stadium with world class standards.
“The money is there, and the cooperate will is there,” the mayor said.