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Unmet Bullets promises as NMC takeover clocks 5 years

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Fleetwood Haiya

Promise is a credit! The marriage between Nyasa Manufacturing Company (NMC) and Nyasa Big Bullets is set to clock five years this year but there are a lot of unfulfilled promises from the company.

While Bullets are enjoying good money from NMC at the moment, the long term future of the club remains a big question.

After years in the wilderness, Bullets, who are considered as Malawi’s successful club, signed a landmark deal with NMC worth K500 million for five years in 2015.

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But the company completed the take-over of the club in 2017 and made several promises. At the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2017, the company promised to construct a mini stadium, setting up an academy, settling debts, buying a bus and also constructing club houses in all the three regions of the country.

In addition, NMC also promised to turn Bullets into a commercial entity and also private listing of shares.

But five years down the line, NMC has only managed to fulfill few promises.

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In 2018, the company bought a second hand bus, which spent more time in the garage than on the road.

The company improved the welfare of the players by paying the monthly upkeeps and game bonuses on time.

Apart from Bullets, Silver Strikers, who are sponsored by Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM), also pay their players in time.

In an interview Friday, Bullets Vice President Fleetwood Haiya claimed that the company had achieved 80 percent of the promises.

“We have done a lot since the company took ownership of the club. For example, we have a vibrant reserve side which is able to produce good players. We have leased a club house in Blantyre and very soon we will have one in Mzuzu and Lilongwe,” Haiya said.

“But with Covid-19 pandemic it was difficult for the club to generate more revenues. Another challenge is that we are yet to start Private Listings on the shares of the club.’’

In addition, the club secured 13 hectares of land along Blantyre- Chikwawa Road in Mpemba to construct a People’s Team Village and training ground.

Once completed, the facility is expected to have hostels and an auditorium.

Sports analyst Peterkins Kayira said the company might be racing race against time to fulfill all the promises.

“Obviously, we need to ask them if they can manage to do all the things this year, otherwise it is very clear Bullets and Nyasa went into what I would call cosmetic agreement,’’ he said.

At the moment, Bullets do not have even a training ground despite having massive sponsorship from NMC.

Over the years, Bullets have changed hands between several sponsors namely Bata Shoe Company, fuel and lubricants marketing firm Total, former president Bakili Muluzi, Msiska twin brothers Phaskani and Fumu trading under Cifu Group and now NMC.

All the previous owners had their own promises but never fulfilled them until they stopped supporting the team.

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