I listened attentively to the speech delivered by President Peter Mutharika during the ground-breaking ceremony of the five-star Sogecoa Golden Peacock and Business Park in Blantyre on Tuesday.
Among the promises the President made was the renovations of Kamuzu Stadium and the construction of a new stadium at Njamba Freedom Park in Blantyre.
The President assured the soccer fraternity that the artificial turf, which is supposed to replace the old one at the dilapidated Kamuzu Stadium, will arrive shortly.
I was, therefore, amazed to read in one of the local dailies that the much-talked artificial turf is stuck in Beira, Mozambique because the Malawi government has not yet finished payment and the supplier is holding it.
The supplier said according to the contract they signed with the Malawi government, the latter is supposed to complete payment before it is delivered.
And yet the President had the audacity to brag about the artificial turf which has not yet arrived and payment has not been finalised.
This reminds me about the issue of the much-talked generators which were meant to ease electricity black-outs.
The President promised that by December 31, this year, the first set of gensets would have arrived and connected to the national grid but nothing has happened and it a few days before the deadline.
Now here is the same President giving the soccer fraternity a litany of promises when others haven’t been fulfilled.
Seriously, should the government talk about building another stadium when it is failing to take care of Bingu National Stadium, which is running without electricity and it is slowly becoming an eyesore?
How many times has the government promised to demolish Kamuzu Stadium and replace it with a modern one?
Do we really need to take the President’s promises seriously? Who is fooling who Mr President?
We all know that Njamba is supposed to be a recreational park and we don’t need to replace it with a stadium when there is so much idle land to accommodate such a project.
It becomes a problem when the President is in the fore front destroying the scenery of the city instead of protecting it.
I personally do not agree with the City of Blantyre’s plans to allocate the Chinese a place close to Civic Centre to build a hotel.
Mr. President, the problem is that most of the prime and land is being sold to foreigners at the expense of the locals.
Mr President must be told in no uncertain terms that we have all reasons to doubt his promises because people are still living in darkness despite your promise to end incessant power cuts by December 31.
My simple advice is that the government must renovate the existing football infrastructure such as BAT Ground, Escom Ground, Civo and Mzuzu stadiums before dreaming of constructing a new stadium.
Otherwise, we take what the President promised as a campaign gimmick ahead of the 2019 Presidential Elections.
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