Minister of Labour, Sports, Youth and Manpower Development Henry Mussa has said all arrangements and preparations to mark the official opening of the newly constructed and magnificent Bingu National Stadium (BNS) in Lilongwe this coming Saturday are in place.
This pronouncement will put paid to many fears which have been lately raised in different quarters which brought into question the level of preparedness and readiness of the facility to open its doors.
The stadium which its construction work started in June 2013, will see its official opening being climaxed by an international friendly game between the Malawi national football team and a national select side from China from where the grant for the stadium construction came from.
President Peter Mutharika is expected to be the guest of honour during the event which will also have on display traditional dances from both Malawi and China and other sport related activities from the Malawi Army.
Addressing members of the press alongside the stadium manager, Eric Ning’ang’a at the BNS on Tuesday afternoon, Mussa said all is set for the official opening of the stadium and further indicated that reports from stakeholders involved indicate that there are on top of their game.
“Just yesterday we had a briefing from all stakeholders involved in these preparations which was chaired by the public events. The reports we received from different sections were encouraging and am proud to report to you that we are on top of our game.
The Minister said that they are aware of the excitement that is there ahead of the grand opening of the stadium and he has therefore given assurances that all steps have been taken to make sure that those who will come are safe.
“You will agree with me that this has been long time coming, almost each and every citizen of this nation has been looking forward to this day. We would not wish to stand in the way of anybody wishing to come to witness a new page of this wonderful history being turned. Therefore, we want to mark this landmark with an assurance that all the safety screws have been tightened,” he said.
On the day, the gates will open at 6 am in the morning and tickets will be provided to anyone entering and when the stadium will reach its maximum 40, 000 capacity the gates will be closed, this is a stark contradiction of earlier media reports which indicated that they organizers are ready to accommodate as many people as 60, 000.
“We want to conform with the safety and security standards of this facility. We will make sure that everybody who is in the stadium should be seated on a chair and we will not entertain anybody to be standing either close to the pitch or in the pathways,” the stadium manager Ning’ang’a said.
For the VVIP and VIPs special invitations have been arranged which will also have stickers displayed on their vehicles to allow for proper allocation of their parking space within the stadium.
The Manager said as operators of the stadium they have learned a lot from the experience they got when the stadium hosted its first game between Be Forward Wanderers and Nyasa Bullets in the Luso TV organised bonanza.
“A lot was said and reported after that game and most of those stories lacked any grain of truth. All the stories about people vandalizing the stadium were all false save one case which involved one of our own workers. That test match provided a good learning opportunity to learn and come Saturday people will see the difference,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :