n Wednesday, President Peter Mutharika met with Football Association of Malawi (FAM) and representatives of Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers.
At the meeting, held at the Sanjika Palace in Blantyre, Mutharika is on record to have assured the two clubs that he will keep his election campaign to build stadiums for them. He went further to say that the stadia projects will be included in the 2019/2020 National Budget.
The genesis of all this circus was the election campaign promises that, as usual, politicians make without thinking twice. In a bid to garner votes, Mutharika, during one his campaign rallies, promised to build stadiums for Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers. And people, no, let me rephrase that, DPP supporters, clapped hands.
On the other hand, the opposition and some Malawians with a sane mind—sane enough to discern political tricks—questioned why Mutharika would want to build stadiums for privately-owned football clubs.
Well, Mutharika has defended the move as one way of developing football in the country.
Now, I am no football fanatic, neither am I an economist, but I know for certain that this does not make any football or economic sense. For starters, the two clubs are not public entities that would have to be funded by public money. The two clubs are private firms that are in business and are making profits. Did I miss news that Nyasa Manufacturing Company is now a public firm? When did Be Forward, a Japanese company, become a public firm?
Mutharika and the DPP are trying too hard to prove their critic wrong. In so doing, they are making a grave mistake. If Nyasa Big Bullets were as ambitious and determined to develop football in the country, they, by now, would have built their own stadium and so, too, Be Forward Wanderers.
I would have excused Mutharika if he had said he would offer the two football clubs tax-waivers on materials for building their stadia.
Why should Malawians, who have to go to hospitals that have no medicine, have to send their children to learn under a tree and walk long distances on rugged roads to access social amenities build stadia for privately-run football clubs?
This country is known for having visionless leaders, whose priorities are upside down. Is building stadiums for football clubs what DPP calls wise and dynamic leadership? Do not lead us to destruction Mr President. This country does not owe Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers a stadium. Let them build the stadiums from their coffers, not from public coffers. This is unacceptable and the sooner this madness is stopped, the better.
This money could be used prudently to build schools, buy medical supplies and critical needs that have been neglected.