K35m deal! Peter Mutharika says has passion for sports

Malawi President’s brother and heir apparent, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika says he has a passion for sports and that his three-year K35 million sponsorship of the Southern Region Football League (SRFL) and National Women Football Committee (NWFC) will not be a campaign gimmick for his presidential bid in 2014.

Mutharika, who is Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said this at the launching ceremony held at Malawi Sun Hotel in Blantyre on Saturday.

He will be sponsoring SRFL to the tune of K15 million (about $90 000) for three years.

The minister through his Peter Mutharika Foundation has invested the sponsorship for the three regional leagues will be at K19.8 million (about $120 000) for the same period.

Peter Mutharika presents the trophy to Ngwira at the leagues launching ceremony

Malawi, coincidentally, goes to the polls to elect a new government in 2014 the time the sponsorship deal will have to expire. Mutharika, however, says his sponsorship is no linked to enhance his presidential bid.

“To begin with, as a Malawian, I have strong passion for sports. This dates back to my school days,” said the minister who is ruling DPP presidential candidate.

Peter Mutharika has taken the sponsorship of SRFL – the oldest league in the country – following the withdrawal of Arkay Plastics who helped the league for the past three seasons to the tune of K3 million each season.

Mutharika said: “Time has come for Malawians to move from just sports to professional sports. I would like to encourage the private sector to try football sponsorship and you can make money out of it.”

He also noted that it is important to have sport because it develops the human body.

“When you exercise, diseases can be reduced by 30 percent. I, therefore, want to encourage our young men and women to exercise. That is why I [also] sponsored the league,” he said

NWFC chairperson Suzgo Ngwira and SRFL chairperson Trouble Kalua commended Mutharika for “rescuing” their leagues and becoming Malawi’s big time sports sponsor.

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