Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama says the Tonse Alliance administration cannot prioritise stadia for Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers because they were not on its agenda.
The minister was reacting to the omission of the stadia projects on the list of priorities when Finance Minister Felix Mlusu presented a K2.2 trillion maiden national budget for the Tonse Alliance administration in Parliament in Lilongwe on Friday.
Said Msungama in an interview on Saturday: “We are prioritising our promises which include tax free band and reducing the price of fertiliser.
“We cannot prioritise what we did not promise. We have to live our dream.
“Building stadiums for Bullets and Wanderers was not on our agenda. Nevertheless, we will still proceed with the projects. We have not abandoned them.
“But how we will do that is a subject for another day.”
The minister said in sports sector, the Tonse Alliance administration will prioritise the areas the Minister of Finance highlighted such as the construction of an indoor netball complex and Mzuzu Youth Centre and rehabilitation of Kamuzu Institute for Sports.
Reacting to the minister’s sentiments on Sunday, Wanderers general secretary Victor Maunde on Sunday said: “We respect government’s decision, but the positive thing out of that is that government hasn’t abandoned the projects.”
On his part, Bullets chief administration officer Albert Chigoga said he needed to consult before commenting.
The projects were allocated K1.6 billion (K800 million) each in the annulled 2020/21 DPP administration National Budget.
Contracts were awarded to Chinese construction companies by the Peter Mutharika administration.
The Bullets stadium project, estimated to cost K3.8 billion, was awarded to China Civil Engineering while Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Company was awarded the Nomads’ stadium project estimated to cost K3.6 billion.
Immediate-past president Peter Mutharika pledged to constrict the stadia for the two teams during the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections campaign.