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Members of Parliament press for stampede victims’ compensation

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Parliamentary Committee on Social and Community Affairs has said authorities have to come out clear on who is to blame on the Bingu National Stadium stampede as victims need to be compensated.

The committee yesterday engaged Ministry of Sports, Youth and Manpower Development to know whether compensation has been arranged for the victims and other plans that have been put in place to avoid a recurrence of the accident.

Acting Principal Secretary for the ministry, Joseph Mwandidya, who led the team of three officials, told the committee that the ministry cannot meet such demands as it also waits for final recommendations from President Peter Mutharika after the task force that was instituted submitted its findings.

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“If I have to be honest with you right now, as a ministry, we are focusing on control measures. In terms of compensation, that is not in our hands. It has to be directed to our superiors. All we are doing is to look into preventive measures for it not to happen again,” he said

But committee Chairperson, Richard Chimwendo Banda, said the committee is not convinced with how the ministry has responded to their concerns.

“We have to look at the whole arrangement, more especially who was supposed to be answerable. The committee itself was supposed to be answer able but how the committee was instituted leaves a lot to be desired. We are told there were no subcommittees which we can call to account. We all know that lives were lost and we can’t just leave it like that. The families need to be compensated,” he said.

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Chimwendo Banda said the committee will continue meeting other stakeholders that were involved in the matter.

Mwandidya earlier attributed the incident to, among other, poor design of the state-of-the-art stadium, saying it lacks turnstiles just like other big stadiums.

The report from the task force cited poor planning and stakeholders’ negligence as major reasons for the tragedy.

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