By Isaac Salima
Nyasa Big Bullets on Friday took advantage of its awards ceremony to confront government on the status of football stadiums that the Democratic Progressive Party-led administration promised them prior to the 2019 tripartite elections.
Then president Peter Mutharika promised to construct a stadium each for Bullets and their arch-rivals Mighty Mukuru Wanderers but there has been uncertainty on the future of the projects.
Speaking on the sidelines of the awards ceremony for outstanding players which The People’s Team held at Comesa Hall in Blantyre on Friday night, Nyasa Manufacturing Company Managing Director Fleetwood Haiya expressed worry over the stalling of the project.
“We know that government does not abandon previous administrations’ projects but we are surprised that there has not been progress on the stadium. Where is our stadium? This project will not only benefit us but many people as well,” Haiya said.
He said that while awaiting completion of the pledged stadia, their Mpemba stadium building project is progressing well and that they expect construction works to begin next year.
Minister of Sports Richard Chimwendo Banda assured Bullets that the government will not abandon the project.
“We had some financial challenges as a result of the Covid pandemic and other things but I can assure you that we will not abandon the stadiums. Construction of Wanderers’ stadium is over 50 percent done while Bullets is at around 18 percent and that affirms government’s seriousness on the projects,” Chimwendo Banda said.
He added that the concentration this year was in Lilongwe where they were building sports infrastructure for the Region 5 games that the country recently hosted.
Bullets stadium is being constructed at Zingwangwa along the Blantyre-Chikwawa Road while Wanderers’ is at Soche.
The stadiums were allocated K1.6 billion in the 2019-20 national budget but are yet to be funded since the Tonse Alliance-led administration came to power.
The stadiums were to cost K7.4 billion with The People’s Team’ pegged at K3.8 billion while the Nomads’ was budgeted at K3.6 billion.