A post on Malawian Member of Parliament, Juliana Lunguzi’s Facebook profile has received overwhelming positive response that she goes ahead to move a private member Bill that special funding should be set aside to be invested in the development of Malawi netball.
This follows the netball team’s excellent performance at the World Fast 5 Netball tournament held in Melbourne, Australia last week in which the Queens finished third — their first-ever high ranking position at such major competition.
The Queens usually struggle to secure funding. They receive very little subvention from the national budget as opposed to football, which at time gets extra funding from government once its allocation is depleted.
Lunguzi, the Dedza East MP, wrote: “Dearest Friends, Brothers and Sisters, what if I moved a private member bill that with respect to funding sports, for every K10 given to the Flames — which have never burnt anything by the way, a K10 should be invested in netball development in Malawi?
“If we invested in netball, wouldn’t the return be higher, much higher than what we get from football? I visualise a day when hundreds of girls will join Ms Mwawi Kumwenda abroad, playing professional netball, making Malawi proud as the Queens and Mwawi always do, and supporting their kith and kin via remittances, remittances which will buoy our forex reserves.
“Friends, brothers, and sisters; if we invested in netball, wouldn’t the return be higher, much higher than what we get from football? With the Malawi Queens’ performance, is this dream, with good leadership, not attainable?
“What more proof my friends, brothers and sisters do we need, to realise that sports-wise, netball is our niche (strong selling point) and we should now heavily invest in it and support it?”
she signed out by saying if people have ideas on how this agenda can be pushed in and outside Parliament, they can get in touch with her.
There were over 200 comments of support for the proposed agenda.
Ike Mbekeani said this is a worthy cause and that Malawi should invest in a sport that brings positive results.
“The Queens successes are a constant reminder that something good can come out of Malawi,” he said.
Irfan Moosa suggested that instead of government making the contribution, Malawian themselves can contribute MK10 each to netball, an idea supported by Maet Chibale, who said: “we should have a special queens account where this little contribution — but more when combined — be deposited. By end of the these ladies will not be lacking funding to compete or travel places carrying our flag.”
Lester Tandwe suggested that the Queens should be given more than the Flames from the national budget.
“If it wasnt for Airtel, they would have failed to go to the tournament. You are well placed to push for this. In fact, revive the construction of their indoor Arena. As world number three, they can’t host their rivals. Akasewera ku Youth Centre (will they play at Blantyre Youth Centre?”
Ellah Chimwemwe Malinki said the suggested K10 is too low.
“If a ‘Donate a K100 campaign’ was introduced countrywide you will be surprised what this nation can do. Many will be willing to contribute even more than that.
“This reminds me how successful the 362 Big Walk campaign was. If we got people of the same zeal, this would not even require Parliament motion. Tiziyamba tokha a Malawi (we should always be ib the forefront ourselves).”
Aupa Banda said: “Much as I agree with you to give much support to our ladies because they give results, I don’t second the idea to take 10% out of the Flames’ peanuts they receive from government. There other times the government does not give the required money to Flames for its assignments and they even struggle up to the eleventh hour when corporate world comes to the rescue.
Aupa Banda must have been in support of Moses Bernard, who earlier said not all Malawians love netball.
“In football, you need to invest more to get good result. Have you ever seen an African football national team in top four of Fifa rankings? Zambia invested a lot of money in football, that’s why they won the Afcon. Let us just congratulate them — no need to mention the failure of Flames.”
Daniel Chilima said: “Let’s also be politically honest in our motions. You politicians invest politically wise rather than economically wise as you have suggested here.
“Soccer investment gets millions of voters hence your investment. A lot of evidence of this is the district level MP-sponsored mini leagues or tournaments. I belive in your idea but I think it’s too early to get it into level of Parliament.
“I would like to suggest another way, we must focus on private sector into this. If Parliament can agree to tax less the corporates sponsoring sports, that would score political mileage and can get an easier nod. Secondly women of great influence like yourselves can now push netball agenda from that angle with corporates.
“Trust me, there are more companies willing to do so but the CEOs need a carrot to dangle to their boards and tax is one key carrot. Because at the moment sponsoring sports is not profitable,” Chilima said.
Chris Zambira concurred with Lunguzi, saying netball is indeed Malawi’s niche.
“We are now on position 3, we have two enormous positions to fight for. First, is to safeguard the new positions and not drift away and second is to move to position 2 and 1.
“To do this, our Queens, our pride, need full support. I therefore wish to state that the Queens now need more than 50 percent funding. We have no moral reason to equate Flames with the Queens. I support the motion [and] mukafuna kuti tiwapemphe bambo Billy Mayaya kuti tikamatche before Parliament on the eve of presenting the bill, I will definitely be part of the marchers.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :