Government allocates K2.6 billion to sports facilities rehabilitation
Government has allocated K2.6 billion towards rehabilitation of sports facilities as part of the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Youth Games legacy.
Malawi hosted the regional event for the first time in December last year, winning 44 medals.
Speaking after touring some sports facilities in Lilongwe Wednesday, Sports Minister Uchizi Mkandawire said the allocation will go towards completing renovation works for facilities such as Bingu National, Civo and Silver stadia in Lilongwe.
“We are optimistic that the funds will be made available once the budget has been approved by Parliament. We expect rehabilitation works to be completed very soon,” Mkandawire said.
The initial budget for upgrading of sports facilities before commencement of the Games was K6 billion, of which K3.7 billion has already been used.
Rehabilitation works at Bingu National Stadium are at an advanced stage whereas Silver’s are behind schedule.
Mkandawire said he was concerned with the progress of rehabilitation works at the Area 47 facility.
“There is a lot that needs to be done to ensure that Silver Stadium is ready to host matches this season. There is a need to work with speed on this project,” he said.
However, contractor Maziko Landscapers Managing Director Tionge Chiutula said the only reason for the delays was lack of funds.
“We are prepared to expedite renovation works if funds are made available. So we are waiting,” she said.
Silver renovation works are in a race against time as the 2023 TNM Super League is expected to kick off on April 15.
In the interim, owners of the stadium, Silver Strikers, have made arrangements to use BNS as their home ground in the season’s first round.
Local Organising Committee Chairperson Dennis Mombera said all renovations works will be completed.
“We are pleased that government has assured us that funds will be available to complete the works. We want to ensure that all our tasks are completed so that the Games leave a lasting legacy,” Mombera said.
The committee has already handed over Civo Stadium to the Office of the President and Cabinet after completing renovation works.