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Zomba Stadium needs K2.4 billion

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The Ministry of Local Government has disclosed that it will need about K2.4 billion to complete the delayed project of the 20,000-seater Zomba Stadium.

The ministry’s public relations officer Anjoya Mwanza said this in response to a questionnaire seeking updates on the project.

“According to the signed contract, we may need about K2.4 billion to complete the second phase. You may wish to know that the delays in payment to the contractor were due to lack of adequate resources in the budget,” she said.

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Mwanza said the contractor was paid for the first phase.

“For the second phase, we made part payment in advance. However, we submitted all the outstanding claims to Treasury. Meanwhile, Treasury has given a promissory note on all arrears.

“Please note that, to come up with the current phase two, we had to reduce the scope of works because of the limited resource envelop,” she said.

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As it stands, Mwanza said the first phase of the K4 billion project is almost complete.

“It concentrated on the renovation of the hall, VIP stand and the pitch while the second phase is mainly on other stands,” Mwanza said.

The construction of the stadium exceeded its initial deadline of October 5 2020.

There has been a number of complaints pertaining to the delay to finalise work on Zomba Stadium, a possible home for Zomba-based Super League side, Red Lions Football Club.

For instance, the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) once added the delayed project as one of the reasons for their protests earlier last year.

Following this, the pressure group demanded explanations from Zomba City Council and gave the council a six-month deadline to complete the project.

The Southern Region Football Committee also raised concerns about the delayed project.

The committee’s vice treasurer Rajab Namaraka said the project has delayed, thereby affecting the development of sports in the city.

“We will keep on asking for a speedy completion of the project,” he said.

If completed, the stadium would have a football pitch, running track, volleyball and netball courts.

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