Chihana launches Malawi Pres.Cup 2013 edition: Blames ‘finger pointing’ for retarding sports

Youth and Sports Minister Enoch Chakufwa Chihana has said sports development in Malawi is marred by the inability of stakeholders refusing to take responsibility for their actions or inactions.

“In Malawi we have a big problem of always finding a scapegoat whenever things go wrong or we have problems. We should be able to learn from our mistakes rather than wasting time blaming each other,” Chihana said.

The Minister said on Saturday at Mzuzu Stadium during the official kick off of the 2013 edition of MK120 million Presidential Initiative on Sports.

Of the MK120 million, MK60 million will go to Football, MK30 million will go to Netball, while another MK30 million will share by other sports disciplines.

“We will try to find sponsorship for other sports disciplines that have no sponsorship,” Chihana said.

Enock  Chihana speaking at the launch
Enock Chihana speaking at the launch

The Minister then announced that government is considering raising sponsorship for the Presidential Initiative on Sports in the 2013/14 financial year to suit the prevailing economic climate.

He said Malawi had a good Sports Policy but admitted that implementing it is a challenged because of witch-hunting and finger – pointing.

“The government is committed in uplifting sports in this country and that is why it has been funding the Presidential Initiative on Sports since 2008,” he said.

Chihana, who represented President Joyce Banda, who is in Scotland for an official visit, said that is why his ministry has encouraged Sports Associations, Stakeholders and government to have a conference that will map the way forward for sports development in Malawi.

“Let Sports Associations, Stakeholders and the Ministry have good relationship so that we uplift sports in this country,” he pleaded.

The Minister then asked Bullets and Wanderers Football Clubs to submit proposals to government so that they should be allocated land to build their own stadiums.

“Let me reiterate here that Kamuzu Stadium does not belong to either Bullets or Wanderers it belongs to government. We can bar you if we want. After you submit your proposals we will give you land and then we can sit down and brainstorm fundraising mechanisms,” he said.

The minister then asked Football Clubs in Malawi to operate as commercial entities, saying time is gone for relying on charity.

“Go commercial so that you don’t beg each time. In other countries Football Clubs are big businesses. Why can we do it here? At least if you have your own stadium you will better off in terms on income,” he said.

Speaking earlier Malawi National Council of Sports Board member Julius Mithi asked sports associations to use the money for talent identification and programmes development.

Mithi said government should increase funding for the Presidential Initiative on Sports to at least MK200m.

“If the Joyce Banda Foundation alone can sponsor sports to the tune of MK100 million what more government?” he queried.

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