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Sports

Complex of cracks

Minister downplays Aquatic Sports complex condition

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POORLY DONE—The aquatic complex’s interlocking bricks have given way

Youth and Sports minister Richard Chimwendo Banda has said is there no need to panic with the state of the Aquatic Sports Complex in Lilongwe.

Chimwendo Banda’s remarks come in the wake of a video clip circulating on social media showing cracks on the facility’s interlocking brick pavement just a month after hosting African Union Region 5 Youth Games early last month.

The minister insisted that both the Aquatic Sports Complex and Griffin Saenda Complex are not fully completed yet.

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’’The two facilities have not yet been completed. They are yet to be handed over to the government. There has never been an opening ceremony of these facilities as construction works are not even above 60 percent.

“The makeshift cover up was for hosting of the Region 5 Games. All this temporary work is going. That’s why all the chairs for the swimming complex were removed soon after the games,” he said.

Chimwendo Banda said contractors for both facilities are expected to hand them over to Government in June.

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It was observed during the opening ceremony that the facilities were ready to host the Games despite not being fully completed.

Security issues around the facilities seem to be another grey area as about two weeks ago, thieves looted the Aquatic Complex, going away with items worth over K6 million.

The police reacted quickly and arrested six suspects in connection with theft. Some of the items have since been recovered.

The K8.2 billion facility is being constructed with funds from the government.

China Civil Engineering Project Manager Jerry King said there was no cause for alarm.

’’The interlocking was paved for temporary use during the Games. It will certainly be redone. Construction works are still going on,’’ King said.

The first phase involves construction of an international standard swimming pool measuring 50 metres in length and 25 metres in width.

Also under construction are new covered stands, a double storey VIP wing and a social service block.

The facility is also expected to have a gym, a conference hall, a water tower and a turnstile entrance.

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