Chihana orders for audited accounts for BAT ground construction

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Enock Chihana on Wednesday ordered for the auditing of every penny that government has pumped into the renovation of the BAT ground.

He said this when he visited the ground soon after its reopening. He had also earlier  visited the Surestream Academy Stadium formerly MDC Stadium where he appreciated the developments that have taken place there.

Chihana noted that despite government allocating funds for the renovation of the premises, nothing on the ground had changed as it was still in a pathetic condition.

“I have signed a lot of papers authorizing funds for the renovation of the ground but here we are, there is nothing that shows that money was pumped in,” said Chihana.

Principal secretary Justin Saidi (C) introduces Trouble Kalua of Southern Region Football Leagueto chihan (R). -Photo by Alex Chitwere, Mana

He added that the ground has to be worked on quickly as the ground is part of Malawi’s football history and also provides an alternative venue for the yet to be reopened Kamuzu Stadium.

Kamuzu Stadium Manager, Charles Mhango said Blantyre City Council was the one supposed to be working on the ground and added that the problem was that Shire Construction Limited were not supplying them with materials for the job.

Chihana then gave the official 24 hours to get the materials from the company or withdraw their money to go for another supplier.

“We Malawians sometimes are not serious. With K40 million, Surestream have developed the MDC ground and here, lots of Millions but nothing done.

“You have 24 hours, get the materials or get the money back. We have lots of timber in Malawi,” said Chihana.

President for Southern Region Football League who mostly use the ground, Trouble Kalua said that it was disappointing that the ground’s condition had gone worse than when it was closed four years ago.

Principal Secretary in the Ministry for Youth, Sports and Culture, Justin Saidi said they would soon meet the Secretary to the Treasury on the projects that were not budgeted for.

Blantyre has been hit with the problem of lack of venues for soccer activities following the closure of the Kamuzu Stadium in August forcing teams to travel to Nchalo and Balaka to play their home games.

The stands that have not been worked on at BAT Ground. Photo by Alex Chitwere

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