Thieves have hit Bingu National Stadium (BNS) again, adding to a spate of vandalism incidents that have affected the newly constructed multi-million kwacha sports facility in Lilongwe.
Chief sports officer in the Ministry of Sports and Culture Joseph Kayamba, confirmed the latest theft saying thieves stole water taps last week.
He said the taps were installed in one of the toilets of the stadium that requires K500 million for electricity and security facilities installation to become operational.
“It is true that the stadium, according to the contractors on site, was ransacked again. About eight taps have been stolen. The incident happened early last week,” he said.
Kayamba could not immediately evaluate the cost of the damage.
He further disclosed that workers for Chinese contractors at the stadium suspected that the vandals were people that were hired to clean the toilets.
Kayamba said police officers who guard the facility arrested two unnamed suspects but were freed because there was no vehicle to take them to a police station for questioning.
In the meantime, he has unveiled plans to meet the Malawi Police Service (MPS) leadership to discuss how to tighten security.
“It is sad that this expensive facility is being exposed to thieves like this,” he complained. “I just wish that together with the police we can work on how to improve security before things get worse.”
Lilongwe Police spokesperson Kingsley Dandaula said he was following up the issue with the officers that were on duty on the day of the looting.
“I will respond once I get the facts. But it is interesting that a suspect can be freed because of lack of transport,” he said.
Last year, some vandals stole underground water pipes while in February this year, police shot and arrested a suspected thief who was trying to steal some water pipes.
The 40 000-seater stadium was constructed with a loan from the Chinese government. Currently, government is hunting for a firm to run the facility on a business basis. n