Concerned grouping, Citizens of Progressive Action, have prepared a petition that is demanding the government to rescind its decision to built stadia for local football giants Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers using public funds after Parliament approved Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture vote in the 2019/20 National Budget which includes funding of stadia.
Briefing reporters at Alendo Hotel in Blantyre, the grouping’s Chief Operations Strategist, Pemphero Mphande said the petition has been posted online for people to sign and he says so far close to 10 000 people have responded to it.
Parliament on Thursday approved a K1.7 trillion budget in the 2019/20 financial year which included K1.6 billion towards the construction of the two teams’ stadia.
But Mphande said they are appalled that even the opposition Members of Parliament approved the stadia construction vote “ yet there was a public outcry against this decision using public funds long before it was tabled in Parliament.”
Acting leader of opposition in Parliament Robin Lowe said the government used its numerical strength in the House to push for stadiums’ vote, saying “otherwise it is unfortunate.”
Parliament approved an allocation of K9 billion to the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture in the budget of which K1.6 billion will go towards the stadia projects (K800 million each).
Though the budget was already passed, Mphande said they will still engage the government and the MPs and that’s why they have prepared the petition.
“It could have made sense for government to fund football in particular and sports in general using public funds through sponsoring national events that can benefit everyone across the board, not for two privately owned football clubs.
“How about the other teams that these two clubs compete with at national level? Don’t such teams also deserve their own infrastructure?”
President Peter Mutharika defended the move to construct stadiums for the two teams last month, saying they will be used and enjoyed by the public.
“The question of why government is constructing stadiums for the two private teams does, [therefore], not arise,” he said during an audience he had with the two teams.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :