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11 Years Later F/Town Stadium Is Incomplete

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  • Roofing the grand stand still presents a nightmare
  • Initial budget of P175m has ballooned to P300m
  • Mayor Muzila says council has P70m budgeted for completion

SESUPO RANTSIMAKO

FRANCISTOWN: The government seems to have abandoned its initial plans of full completion of the 27 000-seater Obed Chilume Stadium.
The facility has been in use since 2015, three years after its initial completion date. Construction started in 2008 and was scheduled for completion in 2010 at the cost of P300 million. The initial budget for the project was P175 million but poor workmanship and change of contractors resulted in huge cost overruns and elastic schedules.

Now in its fourth year of use, the stadium remains incomplete. The initial design of the grand stand had a roof which was left out when it was realized that having it presented a nightmare because the roof would obstruct spectators. “It would be very difficult for me to give the exact date of completion because we are facing a challenge in roofing the grand stand roofing,” said Tuwana Resident Engineer Douglas in 2010.

“It seems the contractor has bungled the job, especially the grand stand. The structural plan was supposed to have a canopy but it can no longer fit because the structural plan was poorly done. The grand stand roofing challenge was only realised when the project was 85 percent complete.”

Initially Tuwana Construction was engaged to build the stadium but it was replaced by China Jiangsu due to poor workmanship. The stadium was later completed but for the grand stand in 2015. Handing over the stadium then, the Minister of Infrastructure and Land Development Nonofo Molefhi said the grand stand would be completed later. He promised there would be parking on the eastern side of the stadium in order to argument the western one. But four years after being officially opened, the stadium remains the same.

Efforts to contact the current Minister of Infrastructure and Land Development, Vincent Seretse proved futile at the time of going to press. The Mayor of Francistown, Sylvia Muzila, said completion of the stadium is under Urban Development Plan Four. “The project is in our mid-term review plan,” she said. “The project is close to our hearts and we want the stadium to it completed. P70 million is budgeted to complete the remaining part of the stadium.”

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