Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture has resolved to construct the long-awaited indoor netball court at Njamba Freedom Park where there will also be Blantyre Stadium.
The government searched in Lilongwe and Blantyre, but the ministry’s spokesperson Simon Mbvundula yesterday said they have settled for the park.
He, however, said the indoor court and the stadium will be separate complexes and will be constructed within different time frames, with the indoor court being the first.
Mbvundula said government will float adverts in the next two weeks, searching for contractors and construction will start after that process.
Preliminary works for the indoor court project was allocated K200 million in the 2019/2020 National Budget.
“We are happy to have finally found an ideal place that can accommodate the indoor netball court at Njamba, close to the stadium site. This means construction of the facility will start once the contractors are identified later this year.
“These facilities are two different entities. The court will be the first to be constructed because it is among the priority projects, whose construction have to start this year,” he said.
The spokesperson assured that there will not be much delays, except issues to do with procurement procedures, because the court’s designs and bills of quantities are already in place.
Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) president Khungekile Matiya yesterday said although they are yet to be officially informed about the news, they are happy and hope the place will be spacious enough for other related projects.
She said: “The indoor court is our dream project because with such an infrastructure in place, we would be able to host prestigious competitions and high profile teams. It would also help us generate income as it would be easy to impose entry fees.
“Moreover, we would also like to take advantage of the land for the court to have our own secretariat and other things within the facility that could help us generate income such as shops, offices and gym.”
Currently, NAM is housed in rented apartment in Development House in Blantyre.
Former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika first promised the state-of-the-art indoor court in 2009.
A few months ago, the government assured the nation that the project would be done within five years.
In 2017, NAM seemed to have found solace in the Rach Family Trust’s promise to construct a K2 billion indoor court after signing a K600 million sponsorship contract but the pledge went up in smoke when the trust failed to fulfil its pledge.