A meeting between Malawi government and concerned football fans that was aimed at finding a last bid solution to the Kamuzu Stadium wrangle ended in stalemate on Sunday in Blantyre.
The concerned supporters led by their chairperson Mabvuto Chibambo confirmed meeting Malawiâ€™s Principal Secretary II in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Justin Saidi at Sunbird Mount Soche.
Chibambo said the meeting was arranged following advice from Blantyre City Council to give dialogue a chance before resorting to demonstrations slated for tomorrow (Wednesday) in protest against governmentâ€™s failure to fulfil its promise to reopen the stadium temporarily for local games.
â€œWhen we met Blantyre City Council officials last week to seek permission for the demonstrations, they advised us to further negotiate with the ministry.
â€œWe indeed contacted the PS II who agreed to meet us last Sunday, but we could not agree on anything as he was insisting that we should have another meeting on December 1 where all clubs representatives should be available,â€ said Chibambo.
He said during the meeting, Saidi showed them copies of letters purportedly written to the ODPP for the tender process to cordon-off the affected areas.
â€œWhile we understood his explanation, our concern is that time is running out and we do not know how long the process is going to take and, therefore, we could not agree on one thing,â€ he said.
â€œSo, unless something crops up, our position is that we are going ahead with the demonstration tomorrow [Wednesday].â€
Saidi confirmed meeting the supporters.
â€œI briefed them on the steady progress we have made as regards the cordoning-off tender process.
â€œIn fact, the actual tender process is set for this Friday. If they are insisting on staging the protests, then it is unfortunate. Maybe they are not aware of the developments,â€ said Saidi.
Youth and Sports Minister Enoch Chihana told Parliament recently that he is not aware when the stadium would be reopened as governmentâ€™s priority is the safety of the fans.
â€œHonestly, I am not aware when it [Kamuzu Stadium] will be reopened. What I can tell this House is that experts are on the ground assessing on how best we can help the situation out,â€ said Chihana.
However, this was in contrast to what he told the concerned supporters last month that the stadium would be reopened temporarily for local games.