National Campaign Director in the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Dr Ben Phiri, on Sunday launched the 2018 edition of his sports trophy at a colorful event held at Khonjeni Ground in Thyolo.
Dr Phiri- popularly known as BP or Field Marshal in political circles- reiterated his commitment to keep his constituents fit, happy and productive through a range of sports competitions in football, netball and bawo.
This year’s edition has been upped to K12 Million from K10 Million last year, a development that has excited the sports fraternity near, far and beyond. Reputable sports analysts and observers say this is probably the most expensive sports trophy at constituency level in the country
In his remarks, Phiri – who is the lone DPP aspirant in Thyolo Central Constituency- said the sports trophies play a great role in unifying the constituents and mobilizing them for positive community endeavors. The initiative will have teams from the constituency’s two traditional authorities, Mchiramwela and Kapichi.
During the launch, Phiri presented over 300 football and netball uniform sets and over 150 balls to be used by participating teams.
He hoped this year’s edition will be a huge improvement from last year’s and will go a long way in developing sports in the district coupled with government’s programs in the area.
Last year’s edition was launched at Thyolo Boma where Dr Phiri promised that he was going to speak to President Arthur Peter Mutharika to consider giving people of Thyolo a state-of-the-art stadium. True to his promise, construction works at steadily progressing to have a 20,000 seater stadium.
On other development aspects, BP cemented his sentiment that he is not waiting for election time to start helping his constituents. He has already invested tens of millions to either alleviate or completely eradicate community and personal problems of the people depending on particular needs.
Among his other landmark development interventions are girls hostels at Mpinji Community Day Secondary Schools (CDSS), electricity at Khonjeni Trading Centre and Khonjeni Health Centre, boreholes, bridges.
He has also availed a fully-fitted mobile clinic to ensure that people receive medical help in respective localities. The ambulance is also used to ferry serious ailments to Thyolo District Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital.
Representative of Traditional Authority Kapichi, party officials and district commission officers who spoke at the function thanked Phiri for his selfless character which has seen the area getting enormous development even before he is elected into office.
They collectively said they do not regret their decision to declare him their sole candidate who they believe should not face any competition from anyone from within the DPP during primaries.
BP himself also personally thanked the incumbent member of Parliament for the area, Bapu Khamisa, who out of respect has opted out of the 2019 race and will stand in Mulanje Bale constituency instead.