Government has finalised designs for Super League giants Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers stadia, a step that pulls the controversial projects closer to reality.
The designs, according to the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, reveal they will both be 15 000-seater facilities complete with a six-lane running track, dressing rooms and VIP section.
The designs were unveiled during a consultative meeting between the Ministry and Building Department in Lilongwe on Wednesday.
The ministry’s spokesperson Symon Mbvundula revealed the content of the designs in an interview, but said they are yet to project the cost.
He said: “The designers did not give the total cost projections. We have, in the meantime, asked them to evaluate how much will be needed for the two projects to be completed.”
President Peter Mutharika pledged the facilities in the run-up to the May 21 Tripartite Elections, observing that it was sad that the two most followed clubs in the country do not have their own training facilities.
The promise divided opinion with critics accusing the President of not being prudent with public funds by committing to fund teams that are privately owned.
Government then announced it will own the facilities and lease them to the two teams. Treasury later inserted a K1.6 billion allocation to the projects in the 2019/20 National Budget. Parliament approved the funding a few months ago.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Francis Phiso on Wednesday, after watching Bullets match against Civil Sporting Club in a Super League tie at Civo Stadium, also confirmed that the designs were ready.
He, however, acknowledged that the K1.6 billion would not be enough for the completion of the project.
“The money is not enough, but let me point out that the K800 million approved for each stadium was just a starter-pack,” he said.
The minister said they are planning to meet Wanderers and Bullets representatives soon to brainstorm on the designs.
Bullets chief administration officer Albert Chigoga welcomed the completion of the designs, saying it shows government’s commitment.
“We are pleased to learn that there is such a significant step,” he said.
Chigoga said government has exceeded their capacity plans: “Before government came in, we were already planning to construct a stadium but its capacity was to be a 10 000-seater.