Zomba Stadium rehabilitation and expansion in smooth progress

The rehabilitation and expansion works of the Zomba Stadium, formerly know as Zomba Community Centre, is currently in the final stages as the first phase is 90 percent complete and construction of terraces is now underway.

The minister being briefed
The terraces under construction
The design for the new stadium

This is what Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Ben Phiri found out on Friday during an development tour of the Old Capital where he also inspected some of the city’s new and tarred Nsazi  access road network.

He was in the company of the Mayor Benson Mbula, Zomba City Member of Parliament Bester Awali, the Ministry’s rural development director Malango Botomani, Principal Secretary Charles Kalemba, the city’s CEO Charles Thombozi, District Commissioner Emmanuel Bambi and several councillors.

The Council’s director of engineering services, Ian Dolozi said the City’s residents are keenly looking forward to being provided with excellent facility as well as return of high profile TNM Super League matches.

“We split the project into two phases, the first being the rehabilitation of this pavilion, whose main hall has undergone a complete overhaul.

“We can report that 90 percent of the job has been completed. On this pavilion we will also have a VIP stand whose top floor will house a conference room.

“Next phase involves construction of new terraces to accommodate 20 000 spectators,” engineer Dolozi appraised the Minister.

The PS Kalemba said originally the city’s plans were to construct a 5 000 seater stadium but President Arthur Peter Mutharika, who personally initiated the rehabilitation and expansion project, directed that it should accommodate 20,000 fans.

“The Presidential directed that being the Old Capital, it should be accorded with a state of the art facility that can afford to host international matches.

“Other districts such as Karonga, Mulanje, Kasungu, Dedza, Mangochi, Balaka and others have been provided with good stadium and the President saw it fit that Zomba should also have one,” Kalemba said.

The Minister said he was overly satisfied with the progress of the expansion works, saying by now the stadium could have been completed but was deliberately stalled in the run up to the 2019 Tripartite Elections.

The Minister said he was overly satisfied with the progress of the expansion works, saying by now the stadium could have been completed but was deliberately stalled in the run up to the 2019 Tripartite Elections.

“As you are aware, the 2019 elections where wholly funded by the government and we saw it fit to stop some development projects in order to have smooth elections.

“But my visit is to assure the residents of the district that government is very committed to see that the stadium is completed so that the football fans should resume to enjoy high profile Super League matches, even to host international games.

“This is an important city historically being the Old Capital and it is the President’s wish to make it wear a new face. That is why there are other projects like the road networks that have been upgraded into tarmac.

“I am encouraged that the contractor has erected very strong structures. As long as I am Minister responsible for rural development, this stadium will be completed because it is a presidential directive,” he said.

Chairman of Zomba sports committee applauded the minister for the assurance, saying football fans have been deprived of top Super League matches for a long time.

The stadium, whose original name was Zomba Community Centre, played host to high profile matches since time immemorial and was home to Red Lions, Zomba United and Cobbe Barracks.

When it was closed, Red Lions had to use Balaka or Dedza stadia as their home and analysts believe the team got demoted from the top flight TNM Super League mostly because they were on the road all the time.

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Angoni apaphata
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Angoni apaphata

On the road alll the time is why they got demoted? Ndimayesa ndi asilikali? Mwawapeputsatu pamenepo.

Jason Bailer
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Jason Bailer

Are soldiers not human? That is thinking like you’re using your feet and not brain. What an out of context reasoning.