Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers supporters will have to wait longer for the commencement of the construction of their stadiums in Blantyre which government promised to start last month.
Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Grace Chiumia announced during the handover of land from Blantyre City Council that the two projects would kick-start by end of April.
However, Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development spokesperson Christina Mkutumula yesterday clarified that the project would start with the production of designs.
“And so far, a committee comprising officials from the line ministry, the two clubs, Football Association of Malawi [FAM) and BCC had been set up to come up with the design of the stadiums.
“The progress of the project at the moment is that land has been officially acquired and transferred to the teams,” she said.
Mkutumula said there is no set date for the commencement of the project.
“There is a team of officials, including the two teams, that has been mandated to develop designs for the stadiums. As soon as the designs are ready, the project will be tendered to identify a contractor,”
“It is at that point when time to start the project will be known as agreed between the contractors and the government. That’s the normal process,” she said.
The Bullets’ stadium is earmarked at 6.3 hectares land near Moneymen while Wanderers’ stadium will be constructed at 5.47 hectares land near Blantyre Teachers Training College in Soche.
One of the members of the committee, Wanderers chairperson Gift Mkandawire, who is also an engineer by profession, said there was no way the construction could have started last month.
“People must understand that there is lot of work to be done after land has been identified. Coming up with a design is not just a week-long or month-long process. As a committee we have not even met yet.
“It will take some time before the designs are completed and handed over to the ministry for the next phase which is to identifying a contractor for the projects,” he said.
Designing a stadium process consists of five basic steps: Engaging a consultant for site analysis and confirmation of project brief requirements, development of design details to determine the basic structural needs.
The last two steps involve schematic designing to determine engineering needs and issuing of the final design for construction to the contractor.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Transport and Public Works says they are not involved in the two projects.
The ministry’s spokesperson James Chakwera said: “Of course our ministry is responsible for the construction of public facilities like the stadiums. But at this point we are not involved.” n