Zomba Stadium project, which started seven years ago, might not be completed to become a modern structure befitting an emerging city facility.
This was disclosed by DEC Contractors who said due to financial problems and public pressure to have the facility completed, the capacity of the stadium has been reduced from 20,000 to 8,000.
DEC Construction managing director Daniel Charlie disclosed this during a with Zomba City mayo Davie Maunde following a complaint from a grouping calling themselves Zomba Sports Lovers.
“We were supposed to finish construction works within this year, but we have not been given funds. We have decided to reduce the capacity because of the public outcry who are demanding that the stadium should be completed,” he said.
He also said the cost of the project initially budgeted at K4 billion has been rising because of, among others, vandalism and inflation.
Zomba Concerned Sports Lovers coordinator Rajabu Namalaka said they were concerned with the decision to reduce the facility’s capacity.
However, he said they have no choice as long as it is completed and be ready by April next year.
The Zomba City mayor Maunde assured the concerned grouping that he would engage Ministry of Local Government to provide funding for the completion of the project.
The stadium has delayed due to, among others, change of the origin plan to make it a modern sports facility complete with running track, basketball, volleyball, netball and indoor sport courts.
President Lazarus Chakwera also appealed to Zomba City Council to finish the project during a meeting with councillors and secretariat staff at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre last year. But the directive was another political rhetoric as it was not matched with action.
The stadium was redesigned to be in line with Thyolo Stadium which is under construction and has taken shape to be among modern structures.
The delay of the stadium has forced Zomba football teams, especially Red Lions to use Balaka, Mangochi and Mpira stadium as their home ground which has financial implications.