Poor old Green Eagles. Having a poor start to the season seems not enough trouble for them with the Choma Municipal Council, from whom they are renting the Independence Stadium, adding in on the trouble by getting into a fit and threatening to repossess the stadium.
And what is the reason for the intentions? Because they (Green Eagles) have put restrictions on people walking into and out of the stadium at will.
Eagles, through the sponsors the Zambia National Service (ZNS), have a 20-year agreement to use the stadium and have invested massively to bring the contraption up to speed which has even passed the rigorous FAZ Club Licensing standards.
If one can put in such investment, not anyone can just walk in and out of the stadium and there will be restrictions to avoid unnecessary damage to property like vandalism.
How the council wakes up one day and say they have to reposes the stadium based on just that basis is one matter that is really shocking.
In a full council meeting, and even attended by area Member of Parliament Cornelius Mweetwa, the councillors expressed fear that the stadium could be completely taken over as it had become a no go area to members of the public.
In calling for a review to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Council and the Zambia National Service (ZNS), Building and Health Committee chairperson Festus Hachambwa said the stadium was built by the community who were now not benefiting anything from it because it was a restricted area.
“The stadium is now a restricted area, it’s like the military people are not able to do things with the community, the council should help us to get the stadium,” he said.
So why did they lease out the stadium if they still want to have full control of it?
I sympathise with the ZNS who were angered by the discussion especially that they are the major stakeholder and it was discussed in their absence.
What’s even more shocking is that an honourable member of Parliament in the name of Mr Mweetwa decided to add fuel to the matter by suggesting he does not trust the ZNS as they can take over the stadium.
What kind of thinking is that?
He even goes on to state that the council should have taken advantage of his presence to grab the stadium as he is fearless.
I think the ZNS deserve more respect and appreciation for what they have done to that structure instead been treated like they were an alien invader trying to take over the stadium.
ZNS decision to station Green Eagles in Choma rather Kafue which was initially their home should be commended. The council should realise that the stadium takes in thousands of locals to watch top class football and a lot of joy is derived by the people.
I have not paid attention to this controversial Grade-12 clause talk but now, I think the qualification should have been raised a bit.