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Big Bullets back to drawing board

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George Kaudza Masina

Nyasa Big Bullets board is expected to meet and discuss whether it is still necessary to buy another team bus following State President’s Peter Mutharika pledge.

Bullets and rivals Be Forward Wanderers were promised a bus each by Mutharika during the ground breaking ceremony for construction of the two teams’ stadiums.

Apparently, Bullets owners Nyasa Manufacturing Company (NMC) are supposed to buy a bus in line with takeover requirements agreed in a memorandum of understanding. At the time of taking over the People’s Team, NMC bought a bus which is now grounded after several breakdowns.

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One of Bullets’ directors, Fleetwood Haiya, said they will stop the procurement of the new bus because of Mutharika’s pledge.

“We had started processing the purchase of another bus through an agent but we will stop it because the State President has already committed to giving us one. As such, the issue has been referred to the board on how best to use the funds which were allocated to purchase of the bus,” Haiya said.

He said despite being made by Mutharika during a campaign rally, the Bullets family does not view construction of the stadium and bus donation as political.

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“As I have said before, we are the ones who requested for help. We even requested for more help to benefit the entire football fraternity. Mind you, it is parliament that approved construction of our stadium and Wanderers’, which clearly shows that the two projects are not political,” Haiya said.

Another Bullets director Noel Lipipa, who is also parliamentarian for Blantyre City South, said Mutharika was determined to develop sports in the country.

“The President is not playing politics. He has always spoken of his intention to construct a national stadium which clearly shows that he is determined to improve sports in the country,” Lipipa said.

Former Football Association of Malawi General Secretary and executive committee member, George Kaudza-Masina, concurred with the Bullets officials that the pledges were made in good faith.

“Honestly, I don’t see anything associated with campaign here. Our elite teams have, for a long time, been going through a lot of financial problems. The bus donation and stadium project are just the beginning of solving these challenges. Bullets and Wanderers have just been chosen as a starting point. More clubs are likely to benefit from such gestures with the passage of time,” Kaudza-Masina said.

He called on other players in various sectors to emulate the President’s gesture.

“We need more companies, organisations and individuals to join the President and the government in bailing out football and other sports in general from their challenges.

“On whether Bullets should have two buses or not, my take is that Nyasa should still buy the bus in fulfillment of what was agreed during the takeover. As for the stadium, Nyasa might have gone overboard in promising other things which could not have been realised in five years,” Kaudza-Masina said.

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