Newly-appointed Minister of Youth and Sports Richard Chimwendo Banda says he will lobby for increased funding for sports.
Speaking in an interview yesterday, the minister, who has replaced Ulemu Msungama in the new Cabinet announced on Thursday by President Lazarus Chakwera, said: ” I will take advantage of my position in Parliament [as Leader of the House] to lobby for more funding.
“And I am not just talking about football only, we have other sports codes as well which have been struggling and need support.
Chimwendo Banda also said he is hopeful that the the support the President has been giving to sports will continue.
He said: “We have already started seeing the fruits with the State President being involved in the fundraising drive for the Flames. We have also seen Malawians coming in to assist, but it’s not only about football, other disciplines also require support.”
The minister also hailed his predecessor for laying the foundations.
“My colleague [Msungama] has done a good job and I will continue from where he left,” he said.
The former minister of Homeland Security said he is looking forward to working with people that are well-versed and experienced in the sports fraternity.
“My new portifolio includes the youth which is a large constituency and I look forward to working with them and serving their interests,” he said.
The minister also took time to applaud the Flames for their impressive performance at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Cameroon.
He said: “Every Malawian is happy with what the Flames achieved at Afcon. They were not given a chance, but they performed beyond expectations.
“The fighting spirit, determination and unity were all amazing. Even the type of football they played was awesome to the extent that one analyst branded them as ‘stubborn’.
” I would like to call upon the business and private sectors to support the team.
“I wish I had already taken an oath because I could have been at the airport to welcome them, but I have already spoken to the FAM [Football Association Malawi] president Walter Nyamilandu to congratulate them. We are really proud of them.”