Crowd pullers Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers are facing different scenarios in the construction of their stadiums.
A visit to the project sites Tuesday revealed that groundwork on Bullets’ stadium along Chikwawa Road had commenced while work on Wanderers’ near Kapeni Demonstration School is yet to start.
As at 10am, clearing and levelling of land meant for Bullets’ home was underway .
Bullets Director Fleetwood Haiya, who was also at the site with his Chief Executive Officer Escort Chinula, said he was happy with commencement of works.
“This is a big relief to us as a club. We never doubted the State President [Peter Mutharika] on his promise. He has proved skeptics wrong. We have been assured that told the contractor will complete ground levelling in four days. This is encouraging because at first we were told that it would take ten days to level the ground,” Haiya said.
On the stadium which Nyasa Manufacturing Company was supposed to construct as per takeover agreement, Haiya said the dream was still on.
“We expect to commence construction by July. We will have two stadiums. One will be used as a training venue while the other will be for matches. We want all our three teams to train together so that our head coach can easily monitor what is happening.
“We have the senior squad, the reserve team and the youth side. These teams need a good training facility if they are to continue performing. We intend to build it around Kameza where we are about to secure a piece of land,” he said.
Wanderers seem not to be that lucky as all plants and vehicles left the site soon after the launch on Saturday.
A local resident of the area, Michael Nsamala, said a tractor only went to clear the place on the day Mutharika conducted the groundbreaking.
“We did not see the workers again after the function. Maybe they will be back but as a resident of this area, I will be so grateful to see the stadium being constructed. This will help us cut travel costs when we want to watch games at stadiums that are far away,” Nsamala said.
Wanderers General Secretary, Victor Maunde, said he was not sure about reasons for the withdrawal of construction equipment from the site.
“We have not been given any reasons for the withdrawal but we remain confident that the government will construct the stadium for us,” Maunde said.
The ministry’s spokesperson, Symon Mbvundula, called for patience from the two clubs as the contractors were finalising mobilisation of equipment.
“What people have seen at the Wanderers’ construction site is just temporal. The contractor is bringing equipment any time to start the construction. This is a big project that needs the right equipment. So we should be patient,” Mbvundula said.
Mutharika also pledged to buy buses for both teams which are yet to be handed over.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.