What’s next for Nketa Park in Mpopoma?

The Chronicle

Mbulelo Mpofu, Showbiz Reporter
JUST a stone’s throw from Nkulumane Primary School in Mpopoma suburb lies what used to be a majestic leisure park now a shadow of its former glory.

The Nketa Park which is usually a nocturnal marvel during the festive season with lit Christmas lights recently dilapidated and is in need of serious revamping, concerned residents have said.

Last week, one of the concerned citizens took to social media to air his concerns on the state of the park which houses a live performance stage and an entertainment booth.

Overgrown grass now characterises the park while sewage flows pose a health hazard to residents.

The park is not just an isolated case, the puzzle comes together when other council places are taken into consideration and these include the Centenary Park and other facilities that have been left to ruin.

At the Centenary Park, broken swings which pose danger to users and archaic infrastructure show how low standards have been lately.

Witness Tavarwisa from Bambelela Arts Ensemble wrote a letter directed to Bulawayo City Council (BCC) city fathers on Facebook raising concern over the neglect at Nketa Park.

“The City of Bulawayo, I hereby write to you to seek clarification about the infrastructure below found at Nketa Park in Mpopoma, The City of Bulawayo. do you have other plans for this cultural hub other than merry making during the Christmas week? Is the space accessible to creatives with a potential to meaningfully utilise it throughout the year?

“If so, which door should they knock with their proposals or statement of interest? Without further ado I will pause here for now with much hope to get a response from the relevant offices.

Yours concerned Citizen.”

The letter generated a lot of debate with the public suggesting different initiatives to utilise the facilities.

One resident, Richard Chikwe said he would prefer to use the park for workouts.

“Would love to use it for workout purposes, mass aerobics and stuff,” he said.

Nkosie Mlibazi said the park used to be one of the best in Bulawayo and lambasted negligence by relevant authorities.

“That was one of the best parks in Bulawayo. Now it’s a jungle. I don’t think the current crop of councillors know that we had lovely parks before they came into power,” said Mlibazi.

Another resident, Dumisani Thabo Bhebhe called upon residents to help in the cause.

“I just wish there was something that we could do as a community to help you achieve more,” he said.

The park usually comes alive during Christmas time and fond memories of yesteryear greatness reminded Admond Ntini of how majestic the Park was.

“The Park made me fall in love with baby Jesus and the Christmas spirit,” he said.

Bulawayo Deputy Mayor, Councillor Mlandu Ncube expressed the desire for council to give the place a facelift.

“Yes, we have plans to renovate the park. I think we should agree that the challenge that we had was the collapse of our reclaimed water infrastructure to water the park. Also, we are not spared by the economic challenges and this means that the little resources we get are channelled towards essential services such as water, sewer and health,” he said.

“This means that when budgeting is done, recreation is down in the pecking order and it is regarded as a last option, meaning to say that the little resources we get are channelled elsewhere, recreation is actually not prioritised much. However, we are open to partnerships so that we revive these parks.”

Clr Ncube said that it is their wish to revamp the Park as “it is one of the most used by people especially for events and during Easter.” – @eMKlass_49.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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