By Elaine Mpofu
Stakeholders are appealing to the Gweru City Council to avail recreational facilities to be used by young people as a way of discouraging them from illicit activities.
The visiting Parliamentarians, who are on a national whirlwind tour inspecting sporting facilities said recreational facilities in communities are necessary for the youths to develop themselves. Speaking during a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Sports, Youth, Arts and Recreation public consultation last week at Gweru Sports Club, Youth representative Keith Zenda (Pictured) said it is disturbing to see recreational facilities being leased to crèches and churches.
“The youths are concerned with the issue of recreational centers which are being leased to churches and daycare centers by the Gweru City Council.
“We are not able to use facilities such as the theatre and the Midlands Academy of Music, which happen to be the conducive centers for us artists as they are being used as crèches and church services. So as artists we do not have anywhere to go,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, Mayor of Gweru councilor Josiah Makombe said the council was trying to upgrade other facilities like the Gweru African Football Association(GAFA) and Ascot Stadiums.
“We are still worried about the issue of vandalism , we are trying to resuscitate our grounds but we have a challenge of resources as our budgets sometimes fail to cater for all the refurbishment.
“The issue at hand had never been brought to the office and as council we will resolve the issues regarding the community youth centers,” said Makombe.
Meanwhile, the committee requested the council to do a follow-up on all the Youth Centers in Gweru and what they are being used for and present it before the committee.
Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation Chairperson who is also a Member of Parliament for Vungu Constituency, Omega Sibanda urged the local authority to give youths preference in job recruitment and allocation of vending spaces.