Mzuzu City Council (MCC) needs K800 million to renovate Mzuzu Stadium following years of failure to maintain the facility which is home for TNM Super League clubs Ekwendeni Hammers, Mzuzu Warriors and Moyale Barracks.
The facility’s pitch is in an unusable state; cracks have developed on the stadiums perimeter walls and building, the toilets are broken and changing rooms are in a sorry state.
Stadium manager Paul Machilika says for the facility which is the Northern Region’s only venue worth its salt to be fully renovated, it needs K800 million.
The council has called on partners to support it with the K800 million to overhaul the facility, saying the gate collections they realise from matches at the venue are not enough to meet the maintenance work.
MCC public relations officer McDonald Gondwe blamed TNM Super League clubs Ekwendeni Hammers, Mzuzu Warriors and Moyale Barracks for failing to help in maintaining the facility.
“Teams that use the facility as home ground do not help with maintenance work. They haven’t come forth to work with the council in uplifting the facility. They end up using the facility almost free of charge because they don’t honour usage fee.”
But teams pushed the blame back to the stadium owners, saying their agreement with MCC does not include maintenance.
Ekwendeni Hammers team manager Benjamin Thole said they pay MCC for using the facility and the money is meant for maintenance.
“I have the receipts of payment to the council on the usage. It is only recent that we stopped remitting the amount after noticing that the council was not maintaining the facility despite being provided with the payment that would be used for renovation,” he said.
Thole said the teams proposed to MCC to have the facility managed by them, but the council refused.
Moyale Barracks FC acting general secretary Tionge Banda said council officials have not been open enough to teams to have the problem at the stadium solved together.
“They fail to share the responsibility of taking care of the facility to teams. They monopolise things and in such scenario they cannot point fingers at us,” he said.
On his part, Mzuzu Warriors chairperson Moses Mkandawire called on government to provide relief package to MCC for the stadium to be fully renovated.
“We should accept that the Covid-19 has affected a number of things. In the case of Mzuzu Stadium, there is a lot that requires renovation. It is our plea that government should provide relief package to have the facility fully renovated,” he said.
Apart from Mzuzu Stadium, Karonga United