Over year ago, a picture went viral of a Chinese chasing a construction worker at the new stadium in Lilongwe, who was suspected to have stolen construction equipment.
The act by the Chinese was heavily condemned despite the explanation that theft was rampant at the construction site.
The Chinese-funded project was completed late last year but the stadium has been idle because government could not pump in funds to enhance electricity supply and have the sewer system operational.
The government has now allocated K841 million in the K1 trillion 2016/17 national budget presented on Friday in Parliament to complete the unfinished projects at the site so that the state-of-the-art facility, named Bingu National Stadium should be completed by September.
According to Ministry of Sports and Culture’s spokesperson Christopher Mbukwa, the funds will be enough to upgrade the stadium to the expected standards.
Construction of the stadium by the Chinese contractor was first at $70 million, which was a concessional loan to be paid back by Malawi government in 20 years. Construction started on July 1, 2013 .
But there were reports that rampant theft of construction materials derailed the completion of the stadium in time when that picture went viral of the Chinese chasing the worker with a stick in an effort to beat him up.
Many people condemned the act but others were sympathetic that the theft level of the materials must have spurred the constructor to chase the worker with a stick.
Of course, the man was not apprehended but still the act received scathing condemnation.
Now that the project will resume, there is need to be vigilant by making sure there is enough security system to deter theft so that the project should be opened as soon as possible.
Let’s not make this facility, which has 56 luxury lounges catering for families and sponsor groups to become a white elephant. It also has a press gallery, a gym and Olympic standard synthetic running track around the pitch, and the playing field is covered with special drought-resistant grass imported from South Africa.
This is what we need and let’s protect it from vandalism.
After this project, the government should also consider rehabilitating Kamuzu, Civo, Mzuzu stadia as well as all the community centres that are in states of various disrepairFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :