The Sunday News
Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
THE Bulawayo City Council used Ward Retention Funds to refurbish the Mpopoma and Luveve Swimming Pools that were commissioned.
Mayor Councillor Solomon Mguni told a gathering at Mpopoma Swimming Pool last week that the recreational facilities were renovated at a cost of $98 000 before being opened last year. The commission took place at Mpopoma Swimming Pool with the authorities having toured Luveve earlier.
“Zimmal Mermaid won the tender to refurbish the two pools at a cost of RTGS$56 000 for Mpopoma and RTGS$42 730 for Luveve. The refurbishment started on 20 February and ended on 2 July last year. On 19 September, the contractor handed over the pools to council and the facilities were opened to the public on 1 October last year. Funds were sourced through the three percent Ward Retention Scheme whose purpose is to encourage residents to pay for services through retaining three percent of the cash collected from the ward. These funds are directly channelled to the ward to finance chosen projects.”
The two swimming pools located in the suburbs of Mpopoma and Luveve had been closed for 15 years before being refurbished and reopened in October last year. Mpopoma and Luveve swimming pools were opened in 1965 and 1969 respectively.
The pools have become a meeting spot on weekends as hundreds of children from close-by suburbs throng them in search of leisure facilities and swimming lessons. At both swimming pools, school going children fees are pegged at 60 cents per session. Adults pay $2,30 for a single session.
There was worry over the non-functioning of the facilities as they left many children with no place to learn swimming, which is a life skill while children in western suburbs were also deprived of the opportunity to take part in swimming as a sport as they had no facility to learn the skill. Another council swimming pool in western areas is at Barbourfields, which is however, closed despite being leased out to a private player in 2014.