President Peter Mutharika will tomorrow preside over the groundbreaking ceremony of domestic football powerhouses Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers’ stadia construction in Blantyre.
The President pledged to construct stadiums for the two TNM Super League outfits during the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections campaign period and the projects are estimated to cost about K7.5 billion in total.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Francis Phiso yesterday said Mutharika will tour both sites—near Moneymen along
Chikwawa Road for Bullets and Kanjedza Forest near Blantyre Teachers College for the Nomads.
And a statement issued by the ministry yesterday says the ceremony will be followed by a grand launch rally at Bangwe Desert ground.
On the timing coinciding with the ongoing fresh presidential election campaign period, the minister said Mutharika is only fulfilling the pledge he made to the two teams.
He said: “It is only unfortunate that we connect anything to politics. Because if that was the case, then part of the funding for the project should not have been allocated in the current budget since at that time, we did not know that there would be a fresh presidential election.
“It is just a mere coincidence that the groundbreaking is happening at a time when the presidential campaign is also underway, but if you looks at the order of events, you will see that there is nothing unusual.”
Phiso said contractors will get down to work immediately after the groundbreaking ceremony and that the works are estimated to take about two years.
“The contracts have already been signed, the contractors are already at the sites. So, we are good to go,” he said.
Both Bullets and Wanderers officials yesterday said the development underlines the President’s commitment to fulfil his promise.
Said Bullets chief administration officer Albert Chigoga: “We have now reached a stage where all doubters realise the fulfillment of the project.
“This is a significant step and we applaud government for this.”
On his part, Nomads general secretary Victor Maunde said: “This only confirms that the pledge was not political and the doubting Thomases have been proved wrong. We are thankful to the President and government for living up to the promise.”
Bullets stadium is estimated at about K3.8 billion while that for the Nomadas will cost about K3.6 billion
The projects were allocated K1.6 billion (K800 million) each in the 2019/20 National Budget.