Two Malawi daily newspapers on Tuesday unanimously denounced the allocation of K1.6 billion in the 2019/20 National Budget for the construction of stadia for local football giants Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers in Blantyre.
Minister Finance, Economic Planning and Development Joseph Mwanamvekha disclosed the allocation when he presented his maiden fiscal plan in Parliament in Lilongwe after President Peter Mutharika assured the two teams during an audience he had with them last week that “there would be a provision in the budget”.
Both The Daily Times and The Nation newspapers took to their editorial comments to criticise the controversial funding.
The Nation said such allocation is “a misallocation of resources.”
It’s comment said: “This money could have better been used to build infrastructure such as health or educational facilities which are both inadequate and derelict.”
On its part, Daily Times said it is “strangely” that the public funds have been allocated to the private entities.
“Surely, in a country where the burden is feeding the people and providing them medicine, investing in sports infrastructure, much as it is necessary, is not a matter of life and death,” reads the comment.
The paper said an allocation for the construction of two stadiums for Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers raises fundamental questions on where the country places its priorities.
The voices by the local press comes after Human Right Defenders Coalition (HRDC) chairperson Timothy Mtambo said they will lobby members of Parliament not to approve the allocation of funds in the 2019/20 National Budget for the construction of their stadia.
“We are also supporters of these teams, but people should understand that Bullets and Wanderers are private entities and as Malawi, our priorities include funding the health and education sectors,” he said
However, Bullets’ director Fleetwood Haiya and Wanderers chairperson Gift Mkandawire said they were happy that President Mutharika had lived to his word to construct the stadia.
Bullets were allocated a piece of land at Moneymen along Chikwawa Road and the Nomads near Soche Technical College.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :