Kamuzu Stadium missed the July 30 deadline which government and the facility’s contractors set for the completion of renovation works.
Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development director of sports Jameson Ndalama visited the stadium over two weeks ago and agreed with Pabe Construction Contractors that by the set date the works should be completed and the facility handed over to the ministry.
Ndalama’s visit came in the wake of concerns over the delay to reopen the stadium when the process of installing the artificial turf was already completed a month ago.
But Weekend Nation’s visit, three days after the deadline, noted that the works were still in progress and it was not clear when everything would be in place.
On Thursday, the contractors were seen busy with installation of water pipes outside the stadium.
The contractor refused to grant Weekend Nation an interview but one of the workers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the works might be complete by this weekend.
“We could have completed the works by the set deadline but the ministry asked us to first replace some old underground water pipes, which passed their prime long time ago, with new ones,” he said.
“At the eleventh hour, we were also told to reinforce some of the facility’s entrance gates with some metal bars.”
Apart from installing a new turf, the other major works at the stadium were rehabilitating covered stands, dressing rooms, toilets, drainage system, painting, erecting a new perimeter fence as well as a tunnel from the dressing room to the pitch.
Ndalama told Weekend Nation in an interview on Wednesday that he was yet to follow up with the contractor.
“The agreed date for completing the works was July 30, but they have not yet communicated and we will make a follow up,” he said.
When Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Francis Kasaila inspected the stadium in January this year, he projected that the renovations would be completed by March, but the timeframe was later extended to May and then June.
Last week, the minister said once the facility is handed over, they will ask world football governing body Fifa, through the Football Association of Malawi (FAM), to assess it and make a determination on whether it is fit to host matches.