The only two parties who can give official response to the national budget statement in Parliament, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and United Democratic Front (UDF) have spoken in support of the Be Forward Wanderers and Nyasa Big Bullets stadium projects.
President Peter Mutharika during the May 21 Tripartite Elections campaign promised to build stadia for the country’s two top teams and an allocation of K1.6 billion has been made in the 2019/20 National Budget.
Presenting the budget response on behalf of MCP in parliament on Tuesday, MCP spokesperson on budget and finance, Collins Kajawa, said amid the political uncertainty and economic gloom, football is supposed to be a uniting factor.
“ MCP and many of us in this august House are football lovers and the majority of us could be supporters of either Nyasa Big Bullets or Mighty Be Forward Wanderers.
“It is strange, therefore, that the issue of budgetary allocation towards the construction of stadiafor our two most popular teams in the country has turned out to be divisive issue among
Malawians. Let us refrain from using football as a pony to satisfy our political egos,” said Kajawa.
He said what has been of concern to the opposition MPC is not necessarily that the government wants to financially support these two football powerhouses “but it is the manner in which the proposed fundingis planned to be done which raises a red flag.”
Kajawa proposed that “government should use the Public Private Partnership framework in consultation with the owners of the two teams.”
On its part, UDF spokesman on finance, Ishmael Nkumba said the money allocated to the project is “not enough to build such infrastructure” and cautioned government not to turn that budget line as” a political statement.”
Commenting on the stadi projects, Chairperson of the Budget and Finance Committee of Parliament, Sosten Gwengwe, said Public Finance Management Act should be followed.
Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture Principal Secretary Chancy Simwaka told a cluster meeting of Parliament last week in Lilongwe that the facilities will belong to government. Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :