Main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) yesterday said it has no problem with government using public resources to construct stadiums for Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers.
Speaking in Parliament in Lilongwe in response to the 2019/20 National Budget, Lilongwe Mpenu Nkhoma legislator Collins Kajawa said the main opposition party is not concerned with government’s decision to use government funds to build the stadiums.
He said: “Right Honourable Speaker, Madam, amid the political uncertainty and economic gloom, football is supposed to be a uniting factor. MCP and many of us in this august House are football lovers and the majority of us could be supporters of either Nyasa Big Bullets or Mighty Be Forward Wanderers.
“It is strange, therefore, that the issue of budgetary allocation towards the construction of stadia for our two most popular teams in the country has turned out to be a divisive issue among Malawians. Let us refrain from using football as a pony to satisfy our political egos.”
However, Kajawa said the party was concerned with the funding modality.
“What has been of concern to us is not necessarily that the government wants to financially support these two soccer giants, but it is the manner in which the proposed funding is planned to be done, which raises a red flag,” he said.
Wanderers chairperson Gift Mkandawire commended the party for recognising the role football plays in national unity and development.
“We are excited to learn that some quotas are not politicising the issue of stadiums. The stadiums are for the benefit of the public and not for politicians. Improving the infrastructure in the country will attract more international tournaments, which do not only bring in forex, but also markets the country to the benefit of all Malawians.
“I believe if the Legislature buries the political angle and look at the President’s agenda on the stadiums from public eye, you will notice we need these facilities. So, thumbs up to the advocates of the stadium building initiative,” he said.
Bullets administration manager Albert Chigoga also welcomed the development.
“It is very encouraging to note that political parties in the august House are pulling in the same direction on the issue of the stadia,” he said.
Government has allocated K1.6 billion for construction of two stadiums for the two local soccer giants in the proposed 2019/20 National Budget, following President Peter Mutharika’s pre-election promise. However, the development has met opposition from other sections of the public, including Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), who feel spending taxpayers’ money on privately owned clubs will not benefit the country.
Two budding local creatives Mphatso Makamo, 22, and Chisomo Livason, 24, will be Malawi’s flag carriers during the regional 2019 Multichoice Talent Factory (MTF).
The year-long programme, which takes place at the Zambian Institute of Mass Communication in Lusaka, aims at igniting Africa’s creative industry by training young African creatives and giving them hands-on industry experience.
The two Malawian creatives were selected out of 12 aspirants after rigorous interviews exercise and adjudication process which was led by the institution’s director Berry Lwando and Malawi’s award-winning filmmaker Charles Shemu Joyah.
MultiChoice Malawi public relations manager Priscilla Phisso, in an interview, said they are satisfied with the quality they have selected to represent Malawi during the 2019 MTF.
“We were looking for individuals with knowledge in the production of movies, someone with passion in production and someone who is willing to invest in themselves by expanding their knowledge in the film production industry,” she said.
Phisso said the two are expected to depart on October 7 to join their colleagues from Southern African countries such as Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique.
The MTF is going into its second year after its inauguration last year, when it attracted 20 aspiring creatives drawn from seven southern African countries.
Makamo and Livason are following in the footsteps of Chimwemwe Mkwezalamba and Jonathan Kapumba who represented Malawi at the inaugural cohort of the talent academy. In separate interviews, the two indicated that they are ready for the task ahead of them.
Makamo said: “From my days at school, I have always been passionate about theatre. So, I am extremely excited because it feels like I am taking the first step to a dream that I have held for so long.”
For Livason, the MTF opportunity will cement his already growing reputation in film production. In 2017, he won the Ngwazizazikazi contest organised by Unesco. In 2018, he was the local winner of the Australian Nova Focus On Ability Short Film Festival.
“I want to enhance my production skills in areas of shooting technics and editing,” he said.