The K1.5 billion which was allocated in the 2017/18 national budget as starter pack for the new stadium in Blantyre has been diverted for the rehabilitation of Kamuzu Stadium, stalling progress on the facility projected to cost K110 billion.
Ministry of Finance and Economic Development spokesperson Davies Saddo disclosed this while clarifying on the expenditure after the 2018/19 draft budget showed that the new stadium project did not receive any funding in the prevailing national budget.
He said his ministry did not allocate funding in the current financial plan for the Kamuzu Stadium rehabilitation which includes installing an artificial turf and repairing security facilities.
“We felt the need to prioritise the Kamuzu Stadium rehabilitation. That is why we had to divert the funding allocated to the new stadium,” he said.
In the 2018/19 draft budget, the ministry has allocated K500 million for the new stadium.
Saddo said it is meant for preliminary works, including preparing the land, drawing designs among other undertakings.
“This project requires a lot of funds. So, the proposed K500 million is just a point as we hunt for more funding for the constructing of the stadium.” He said.
The new stadium will be constructed at Njamba Park, a few kilometres from the Kamuzu Stadium.
Meanwhile, director of sports in the Ministry of Labour, Youths, Sports and Manpower Development Jameson Ndalama has said they asked for more than the K500 million.
“I can’t remember how much we asked, but it was more than what you are saying is in the draft budget,” he said. “But since it is just at draft stage, let us hope there will be some positive changes.”