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Veep uncertain on Bingu Stadium opening

Vice-President, Saulos Chilima, Wednesday refused to give an actual date for the official opening of Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.

He, however, said the construction of a sewer system at the facility should take precedence over the fixing of a high-voltage power connection so that the facility can host games in the short-term.

Chilima made the remarks yesterday when he accompanied Minister of Sports and Culture, Grace Chiumia, and other government officials in touring the facility.

“When we look at what is outstanding here, for it to be fully functional, is very little. We are looking at the lighting and sewer system, but the lighting system is for us to watch the games at night. Now, really in the short-term, we cannot be worried about watching soccer at night. Let us watch soccer during the day [first],” Chilima explained.

“In my view, the sewer line should take precedence over the lighting system. The floodlights will be nice to have, but they should not be a shot-stopper.”

He suggested that the ministry should source funds for the connection of the sewer line and cables to make the stadium ready for games.

The facility needs an additional K500 million, outside Chinese government funding, to be fully operational.

On her part, Chiumia asked Malawians to exercise patience, saying the facility would be ready to host activities soon.

Chiumia said due to disasters that hit the country recently, government was unable to complete some of the work at the magnificent facility.

“Let me assure Malawians that the stadium will be ready this year. I wish the stadium should be ready by July 6 this year so that we can celebrate,” Chiumia said.

The ministry has already requested for funds from the Treasury for the completion of the construction work at the stadium.

Once opened, the facility is expected to be a home for the Flames after Kamuzu Stadium was deemed unfit to host international games.

BNS is an Olympic-designed stadium and it has components such as synthetic athletics track, natural grass football pitch, CCTV and exhibition rooms among others.

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