Makwala Stadium construction begins

Honour: Sports Complex will be named after Makwala PIC: LUCY NICHOLSON REUTERS
Honour: Sports Complex will be named after Makwala PIC: LUCY NICHOLSON REUTERS

FRANCISTOWN: The construction of the Isaac Makwala Sports Complex in Tutume has finally started after initial delays. Tutume Sub-District Council chairperson, Anthony Chebane told a full council meeting this week that the facility is being built on a piece of land that has been identified at Magapatona ward.

“The long-awaited construction of the Tutume Mini-Stadium has finally kick-started. Work has been progressing well behind the scenes as evidenced by the recent engagement of two contractors who won the tender to undertake construction works for the project,” Chebane said. Cressiando (Pty) Ltd has been given the tender to construct the boundary wall while Aureole Works (Pty) Ltd has been engaged in the construction of change rooms.

“The two contractors have started mobilising to the site and are expected to start works from the 22nd of November 2021 for a duration of 16 to 15 weeks respectively. Preparations for the groundbreaking ceremony are ongoing,” he added. Chebane said the council will intensify supervision and monitoring of the construction to ensure the timely completion of the project.

It is anticipated that the construction of the project will cost P5 million.

The stadium could have been constructed a few years ago but P4 million of the P5 million meant for the project was diverted to the construction of a similar project in the Chobe district. The move was taken by the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development after the Tutume Sub-District failed to identify a suitable site for the project on time.

Then it was said there were differences among the residents of Tutume as to where the sports complex should be built. The land was finally identified in Magapatona early this year.

The idea to construct the Makwala Sports Complex was initiated in 2018. Then president, Ian Khama said the government would honour the performance, zeal and determination Makwala demonstrated at the 2018 World Athletics Championships in London by naming the planned sports complex after the Tutume native.

Khama’s remarks came after Makwala was prevented from running the 400m race after being diagnosed with a stomach ailment. Makwala later qualified for the 200m final after the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) decided to allow him to run a solo time-trial race.

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