By Draxon Maloya
Hands Off the Stadium Issue.
Nyasa Big Bullets and Mighty Beforward fans have given the Human Right Defenders Coalition (HRDC) chairperson Timothy Mtambo a 72 hour ultimatum to apologize for the remarks he made saying his organization will lobby members of parliament to shoot down the stadium construction bill.
Mtambo was commenting on the proposed stadium construction assurance president Peter Mutharika made which has now been forwarded to parliament for consideration in this year National budget deliberations.
The HRDC leader said the construction of stadium facilities for the privately owned football clubs is unjustifiable and a gross mismanagement of public resources, taking into consideration that some medical facilities in the country are running without drugs.
“People are dying in our hospitals and expectant women have to walk very long distances to find a health centre, so how can the president think of constructing stadiums for the private owned football clubs using the public purse?,
“We all love soccer and I am also a staunch follower of Mighty Beforward Wanderers and I love my team so much, but let us look at the logic behind the construction of these stadiums critically,” Mtambo said.
However Mtambo’s remarks did not go down well with some irate Bullets and Wanderers fans who immediately thronged the Kamuzu Upper Stadium to strategize on what to do in reaction to what Mtambo had just pronounced.
In an interview the chairperson for Wanderers supporters, Kelvin Mkunika said the teams have all the reasons to have their own stadia because none of the stadiums in the country was built by the private sector.
“Look at all those stadiums, Civo and Silver were built by government, and when we play there they benefit more and yet those stadia were built by government, so why should someone stop us from having our own stadia which government is giving us? Mkunika queried.
His colleague the Director of supporters at Nyasa Big Bullets, Stone Mwamadi complained that Wanderers and Bullets were established in 1952 and 1967 respectively but they are still very poor, so it took their own initiative (Supporters) to convince the president to consider building these stadia.
“This issue is for all the soccer loving Malawians, and it is a pity for someone to come out just like that and speak against the construction of the stadia for the two oldest teams in the country which have nothing to show apart from players,
“These teams were established in 1962 and 1967 so we asked the president to assist so that we should stop begging,” Mwamadi said.
During the campaign trail Mutharika could not disclose the source of funds from which the construction project of the Bullets and Wanderers Stadiums will come from.