Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers supporters have asked Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) Chairperson Timothy Mtambo to withdraw his threats to block the government’s construction of stadiums for their clubs.
During an impromptu meeting at Kamuzu Stadium Monday, the fans gave HRDC 72 hours to reverse its stand on the matter.
HRDC had threatened to lobby parliamentarians to reject the stadiums’ allocation.
The handful supporters were led by Bullets Supporters Director Stone Mwamadi and Wanderers’ fans Chairperson Mervin Nkunika.
Nkunika said the two giants deserve the stadiums which would also serve other teams and the public.
“These facilities will also help teams such as Ntopwa and Tigers. This is why we are calling for modern stadiums to cater for other sporting activities such as netball, basketball and volleyball. So Mtambo should withdraw his statements within 72 hours,” he said.
Mwamadi argued that the government benefits from the two teams through 25 percent deductions from games played at government-owned stadiums.
“We are prepared to go and conduct a vigil at Mtambo’s house if he does not withdraw his statement. Most of the match facilities in Malawi are owned by the government. This means revenue from our games goes into government coffers,” he said.
However, Mtambo, who claims to be a Wanderers fan, clarified that HRDC was not against the construction of the stadiums for the two sides but rather wanted the President to use his own funds.
“In fact we are encouraging the State President to build stadiums for the two sides because even we, at HRDC, have supporters for both teams. What we are saying is that the President should use his own money for the project.
“We should not allow people to manipulate supporters because someone will come up with a proposal which is not sustainable. This is taxpayers’ money and the President should have prioritised other sectors such as education where we had children dying because of collapsing blocks,” he said.
Mtambo suggested that if the government were to construct stadiums, the facilities should be split to cater for Blantyre and Mzuzu where there are stadium shortages.
“Everyone knows the pathetic state of Kamuzu and Mzuzu stadiums. Let the President construct one in Blantyre and another in Mzuzu to cater for all teams and community activities,” he said.