Dry coffers

Funding chokes Griffin Saenda, aquatic complex construction


Works have stalled at Griffin Saenda Indoor Sports Complex and the Aquatic Sports Complex in Lilongwe as government exhausted funds for the two projects.

This means the projects will not beat the completion deadline of June.

Details have emerged that no funds have been allocated to Griffin Saenda, which hosted netball and basketball during the Africa Union Sports Council Region 5 Youth Games in December last year.


The situation is different for the Aquatic Complex, which has an allocation of funds in the 2023 national budget that was passed recently.

Spot checks at the two facilities revealed that works have stopped as contractors are waiting for funds from government.

Ministry of Youth and Sports Principal Secretary Isaac Katopola confirmed that no funds had been allocated for completion of the Griffin Saenda Complex in the current financial year.


“We have submitted an addendum to the Ministry of Finance. For now, it is technical issues which need to be sorted out before it gets the funding,’’ Katopola said.

At the time of starting construction in 2021, the government had allocated K7.7 billion to Griffin Saenda, which is adjacent to Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe’s Area 48.

China Railway Bureau Limited is constructing the facility.

Once completed, the complex will have state-of-the-art courts for netball, basketball and volleyball.

Katopola said funds had been allocated to complete works at the Aquatic Complex which is located at Kamuzu Institute for Sports.

China Civil Engineering Corporation is constructing the complex, which hosted Region 5 swimming games. Government allocated K8 billion to the project.

At the time of hosting the regional games, the two facilities were yet to be fully completed.

But this did not affect the games, which ended without any major incident worth mentioning.

After the games in December, the government handed back the facilities to the contractors to complete construction works.

Sports analyst Parry Chinyama said government should make sure that construction of the two facilities is completed as soon as possible.

“It is unfortunate that, until now, the projects have not yet been finalised. If we are not careful, we might lose about 30 percent of what has been constructed. So completion of the projects should be treated as a matter of priority because we are a country in dire need of sports facilities,’’ Chinyama said.

Just weeks after the regional games, the Aquatic Complex attracted negative publicity when it was discovered that interlocking bricks around its swimming pool were giving way.

This was followed by the theft of items worth over K6 million, some of which were recovered after police arrested some suspects.

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