Authorities at Karonga District Council insist construction work of the multi-million Karonga Community Stadium is in progress despite apparent lack of activity at the site.
The statement of hope comes amid outcries on the delays of the 20,000 capacity stadium.
Recently, a group calling itself Concerned Citizens and Member of Parliament for Karonga North West Constituency sought an explanation from the contractor and the district council on the delays.
In view of the construction work which commenced last October (2015) which was scheduled to be completed in September, 2016, close watchers observe that little has been done on the construction site, resulting into continued disagreements amongst the general public, the council and the contractor.
District Physical and Planning Officer, Philemon Maseko, disclosed the delays were due to lack of commitment from the labour force and heavy rains that fell in the previous months in the district.
Ironically, while the rains have stopped, the construction machines are still visibly parked idle inside the uncompleted stadium fence, but Maseko insists work is in progress at the site.
“As of today the boundary wall is almost 80 per cent done, we have also completed two kiosks and two ticketing rooms,” he said.
However, he conceded that construction of the first phase of the stadium will not be completed in the scheduled period. He said due to the delays, the first phase will be completed mid-October, a month later than the scheduled time.
“Karonga will have a stadium of its own, people just need to be calm. Whenever something is being constructed, there are always delays and challenges, some foreseen and others unforeseeable,” he said.
In the construction agreement with the council, it is reported that the contractor was given 52 weeks to complete construction of the stadium, but 37 weeks down the line, less than 50 per cent of work has been done.