ColumnsSports Perspective

So BNS is in tatters one year down the line


News that the government is failing to maintain the magnificent Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe should certainly trigger shock and disbelief.
To the chagrin of many, the structure is becoming an eyesore and this has sparked an uproar among soccer pundits.
Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) is reported to have disconnected power from the facility because of outstanding bills amounting to K22 million.
Recently, there have been reports of vandalism of the property by certain wayward citizens who are opposed to light and progress.
Minister of Sports, Francis Kasaila, confirmed that the multi-billion kwacha sports facility is facing financial challenges which have seen it failing to pay the bills.
That such a huge complex gets K3 million every month from Treasury for its operations is unfortunate. This meagre amount of money is not enough to meet water and electricity expenses.
This clearly shows that Malawi was not ready to have such a facility. Upon visiting the stadium, one can easily sees that it lacks proper care. The pitch is dry and bumpy and if it hosted football players from well-to-do countries, they would think they are playing on a desert.
I vividly remember to have argued in this column when a proposal was hatched to build this facility that there was need to construct three smaller stadia in all the three regions of the country than wasting money on one stadium which is of no significance to such a poor and mismanaged country.
It is illogical to have such a huge facility when the government cannot afford to maintain it.
It just confirms that it was lack of foresight to get a loan from the Chinese government to build this stadium.
Having spent some time in this profession, I got to understand some dynamics of how the Malawi Government perceives our football and, crucially, that things are not always what you believe you are seeing on the ground.
It is also illogical and smacks of propaganda for the government to start preaching about building another stadium in Blantyre when it is failing to maintain the existing facilities.
This just shows that we have masters of incompetence at the helm of the government and it confirms their chaotic way of managing issues.
This is a government which appears to suggest that being responsible is a crime.
Someone must feel ashamed to have run down such a magnificent structure, which some of us thought was plucked from another planet, within a year of its construction.

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