13 September 2017

Malawi: Excellent Initiative On Constructions of District Stadia

Malawi government, through Local Development Fund (LDF) with funding from the Germany Government, is on full throttle in the constructions of district stadia and just last Saturday Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa launched the newly built Kasungu Municipal Stadium.

This is good development as it adds one of the various socio-economic projects government has embarked on of late in various districts.

As Mayor for Kasungu Municipality Ireen Katola said during the official launch, the stadium has been the wish of people of Kasungu for a long time and the youths will surely showcase their talent that shall eventually assist that Kasungu shall have very soon a team in top flight Super League.

But allow me to ask the government that whilst it concentrates on providing the districts with good sports facilities, it should also seriously endeavour to rehabilitate Kamuzu Stadium as well as other notable football venues that the Super League teams use.

Kamuzu Stadium is the country's icon. This is where power exchanged hands from the British rule to mark the independent state of Malawi -- we ought to give it all the respect it deserves.

I wouldn't dare to take a foreigner friend to watch matches at the stadium because it's so filthy. The washrooms' facilties were vandalised such that football fans relieve themselves against the walls.

The terraces were demarcated to stop people from occupying the upper of each of the stands except one because those areas were deemed not safe since they can collapse anytime due to weight of the fans.

Matches are no longer played there because the facility's artificial turf was declared unfit by the football governing body, FAM. the then Minister of Sports Henry Mussa assured the nation that government will make sure the artificial turf be removed and replaced with natural grass -- that was almost six months ago and there is still no progress.

We cannot be having a Blantyre City league derby between Mighty Be Forward Wanderers and Nyasa Big Bullets be played away in Lilongwe just because the Kamuzu Stadium is not fit for matches.

Let us walk the talk and provide the best for the citizenry. Yes, there are many priority areas the government needs to address and we tend to think football or sports in general is not top priority.

This is wrong mentality. Football is serious business once well managed. The Carlsberg Cup at Bingu National Stadium grossed K54.5 million from match tickets and each team received received K10.6 million while stadium owners also got K10.6 million.

That money benefits the players and their families. This is a job for many and stadium owners also benefit for maintenance of their facilties.

Once the government shall finally rehabilitate Kamuzu Stadium, it shall be able to maintain itself through revenue from entry tickets. All we have to do is maintain what Football Association of Malawi is doing by making sure match tickets are sold in advance to stop fraud that was taking place before.

Once again thanks for the various stadia we are being given and make sure the revenue from these infrastructures is used to maintain them rather than letting them reach dilapidated state that Kamuzu Stadium is.


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