Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa says government plans to construct more Community Stadia across the country as one way of increasing sources of revenue for local councils.
The Minister, speaking after officially commissioning the K320 million Mulanje Park Stadium, said government has allocated money in the 2017/18 budget to build in Zomba and Ntcheu.
“Following decentralization in 1998, we noted that some district councils did not have structures that could help them generate enough revenue to match their expenditure. It is for this reason that the Malawi Government with funding from Germany begun to build these structures,” said Nankhumwa.
Construction is at an advanced stage in Zomba, Ntcheu, Mangochi, Monkey Bay, Nkhotakota, Rumphi and Karonga where in some of them, additional facilities catering for other sporting disciplines such as netball, basketball, volleyball and athletics have been included.
“It is the vision of the President [Peter Mutharika] to see the country develop especially in rural areas. We are also fortunate his leadership has instilled donor confidence and trust hence these developments,” he explained.
Nankhumwa said: “Apart from according the youth an opportunity to access better sports facilities, the communities around will also benefit through trade. At the same time the councils responsible, will generate enough revenue that can be invested back into other sectors of development.”
On his part, Mulanje District Council Chairperson, Charles Kapata, said the money generated from the stadium will help in other developments in the district.
He however asked the Department of Sports to share as significant fraction of the money generated during games with the council if the council is to really benefit from the stadium.
Commenting on the same development, Member of Parliament (MP) for Mulanje South Bon Kalindo disclosed plans to involve Football Association of Malawi (FAM) in organizing football tournaments that will identify local talent among the youth in the district.
Before being officially commissioned, seven games had already been played at the stadium. Big teams like Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wonderers have already played at the stadium. So far the stadium has generated about K4 million for the council.