Nicholas Musonye, who first condemned Kamuzu Stadium in 2008, has proposed complete demolition of Malawiâ€™s football shrine in the commercial city Blantyre.
Speaking in his personal capacity, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) security officer Musonye, said renovating the condemned stands is not a permanent solution to the stadium.
â€œThat stadium should come down. The current condition gives me worries. I do not want Malawi to be banned. I would not want people to lose lives. I would love if government negotiated with the Chinese government for a stadium in Blantyre and Lilongwe,â€ said in a recent exclusive interview at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe.
Domestic football critics condemned Musonye in 2008 for ordering FAM to reduce the stadiumâ€™s capacity from around 40 000 to 25 000. He warned that exceeding such capacity would attract Fifa ban.
Now, he says he has been vindicated.
â€œI was not surprised [with closure]. I want that stadium brought down, then I will be able to come as match commissioner with peace of mind. I do not want something [tragic] to happen when I am alive.
â€œFor Civo Stadium, I am happy with it. It has room for expansion. There is minimal risk of a stampede, but there is need to improve its surface,â€ said the Kenyan.
Musonye renewed his affair with Malawi fans at Civo Stadium on October 13 when, before the Flames 1-0 loss to Ghana in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations decisive qualifier, he, through director of ceremonies Frank Kandu, ordered all supporters seated on wall tops to come down, fearing there could be a disaster.
For Musonye, there is nothing personal: â€œI consider Malawi as my second home. I have been here covering games as a reporter since late 1980s. I have even travelled by road from Lilongwe to Blantyre.â€
Asked for a reaction, Youth and Sports Minister Enoch Chihana, whose ministry owns Kamuzu Stadium, agreed with Musonyeâ€™s observation.
â€œIn fact, that is exactly what the report says [complete demolition]. Government is thus trying to enter into a triple P (Public, Private Partnership) arrangement with a South African company to build, operate and transfer. Kamuzu Stadium will go commercial with government retaining shares since it will still be a public infrastructure,â€ said Chihana.
He reneged on closing the stadium completely after â€˜concerned supportersâ€™ led by Mabvuto Chibambo threatened mass action. The groupâ€™s treasurer Frank Msiska on Saturday said they were ready to provide human blockade to the condemned stands while waiting for government to cordon off the terraces.
â€œThere is nothing suggesting that government is working on cordoning off the two terraces. The season might end without games at the stadium and Blantyre teams are suffering,â€ Msiska said in an interview at the BAT ground.
Chihana has since called for patience from the fans.