Former Sports Minister Symon Vuwa Kaunda has confessed he was ‘stupid;’ in recommending that the Chinese planned new sports stadium be snatched from Lilongwe and given to commercial city of Blantyre.
Malawi sought assistance from the Chinese Government for the construction of the new stadium earmarked for the central region and Parliament already approved the plans
However, the late Bingu wa Mutharika administration later announced that the stadium will be built in Soche, Blantyre in the south.
“The decision (by President Joyce Banda) to relocate stadium from Blantyre to Lilongwe is a welcome decision” Vuwa Kaunda told reporters outside the parliament building on Friday.
When he was reminded that he is the one who championed the decision to move the project to Blantyre, Vuwa said “look at the bill, it is clear that the new stadium was supposed to be built in Area 49 Lilongwe”.
Blantyre already has the 35 000-seater Kamuzu Stadium the only one certified fit, with some strings attached, to host Fifa-sanctioned matches.
Meanwhile, several Malawians have recommended President Banda for directing the construction of a national stadium, whose seating capacity would be 40,000 people, be relocated to Lilongwe as approved by parliament.
Former sports minister Mosses Dossi who heavily criticized the move to build the stadium in Blantyre says he is happy with the President’s decision.
“Let me thank God and the President that this issue which I started and was treated with a political mind has finally come to rest,” said Dossi.
As an Olympic standard stadium, it will have specialised facilities such as synthetic running track, conference rooms, television circuit, shopping and exhibition rooms, press galleries, treatment rooms, car park and bathrooms.
The national stadium project will be constructed with a 65-million-U.S. dollar loan from the Export-Import Bank of China.
The decision to move to Blantyre did not please many quarters both in sports and politics with some suspecting that Mutharika just wanted to have an excuse to later move the project to his home area after he also snatched another project of a university to his home area.
The Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must) meant for the central region now stands side by side with late Mutharika’s multi-million kwacha house on his Ndata Farm in the area of Kamoto Village in Thyolo.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :