BNS tenants, government clash on compensation

Lazarus Chakwera

Tenants operating at Bingu National Stadium (BNS) have ganged up against the government, demanding compensation for loss of business following the government’s move to suspend their occupation contracts in the wake of the State of National Disaster declaration which President Lazarus Chakwera made on Tuesday last week.

Among other things, the President announced that the government would turn the stadium into a Covid-treatment field centre.

In line with the directive, Ministry of Youth officials engaged, on January 18 2021, the group of BNS tenants, who are expected to pave the way for the treatment facility to ease challenges which Kamuzu Central Hospital has been facing.


Secretary for Youths and Sports Oliver Kumbambe made it clear to the group, through a letter, that there would be no reimbursement or compensation since the suspension of the contract was as a result of the national disaster of Covid.

“Those who will be affected by this programme will have their contracts suspended, but not terminated, until the situation normalises,” the letter reads.

But the tenants, through Kanyali Group, said they were not against vacation from the premises but the terms attached.


“If you are going to suspend our leases, we request that we be given government grants to enable us to relocate temporarily until the suspension has been lifted,” they say in a counter-letter.

However, Kumbambe advises the group that all concerns relating to effects on business and special requests for support due to the disaster be directed to the Department of Disaster Management Affairs.

Meanwhile, the tenants have given the government up to seven days to respond to their demands.

Immediately after the declaration of State of National Disaster, members of the Presidential Taskforce on Covid announced that BNS, Blantyre Youth Centre, Zomba State House, among others, would be turned into isolation centres.

The BNS facility will accommodate 300 beds.

Reports indicate that about 180 healthcare workers will be deployed to the BNS isolation centre.

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