Chinese Ambassador to Malawi Pan Hejun has assured Malawians that the state-of-the-art 40,000 seater stadium project in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe will be completed in two years.
Hejun said this on Thursday inside Capital Radio’s Straight Talk interview programme.
He rebuitted the reports that claimed the Chinese government has withdrawn funding for the new sports arena billed to be of high-tech Olympic standard..
Ambassador Hejun said the laying of the foundation stone by President Joyce Banda marked the begining of the multi-million kwacha project.
“Construction of the stadium is underway, the foundation stone has already beem laid by Her Excellency Joyce Banda few weeks ago,” said Hejun.
He said he is confident that the contractors will complete the project in two years as planned.
“I am very confident that that in two years they (contractors) will be upgrading your international stadium,” he said.
“Malawian people deserve a national stadium,” he added.
The People’s Republic of China, through its Export-Import Bank, has pledged to provide a 65-million-U.S. dollar loan to Malawi towards construction of a modern national stadium in the capital, Lilongwe.
Malawi Parliament authorized the government to go ahead and borrow the funds from the Export-Import Bank of China.
The stadium would be able to host all kinds of sporting disciplines in Malawi, adding that the stadium would have a standard natural grass football area and 10 synthetic tracks.
Earlier this year, the late Bingu wa Mutharika government announced that it had decided to have the stadium built in Blantyre because Lilongwe already has a number of development projects funded by the Chinese Government.
The move sparked controversy as other quarters, including some members of Parliament, protested, arguing that Blantyre already has the giant Kamuzu Stadium, which only needs to be refurbished.
But the Joyce Banda administration moved the project back to Lilongwe where a foundation stone was laid.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :