Part of Njamba Park has been proposed as site for the new stadium to be constructed in Blantyre.
Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Francis Kasaila yesterday said the decision follows an agreement reached by his ministry, Blantyre City Council and the Department of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.
“We are working on the modalities and the technical officers have to analyse the sustainability of the site,” said the minister.
However, Kasaila could not say when the actual construction works will start, saying: “Not at this point in time.”
Asked on what became of the initial site at Soche which was abandoned by immediate past president Joyce Banda for a site in Lilongwe, the ministry’s director of sports Jameson Ndalama said: “It was established that the site would not be adequate as some people had developed part of it.”
Blantyre City Mayor Wild Ndipo yesterday asked for more time before he could comment, saying he did not attend the latest meeting.
“Of course, there were also suggestions that the stadium site should be near Escom offices in Chigumula Township, but it appears the majority settled for Njamba due to its proximity to the central business district [CBD],” he said.
Government allocated K1.5 billion in the 2017/18 National Budget for designs and construction of the facility’s first phase.
The allocation was part of the K3.65 billion allocation to the ministry for sports infrastructure development.
However, the total cost of the stadium is yet to be established.
While hailing the progress on the stadium project, a Blantyre-based soccer fan Blessings Somanje said the project was taking too long.
“The talk about constructing a new stadium has been there for some time, but there seems to be little progress.
“Nevertheless, it is encouraging to learn that a site has been proposed as this gives us hope that Blantyre will again be able to host high-profile matches not long from now,” he said.
President Peter Mutharika promised to construct a new stadium in Blantyre when he was campaigning for presidency prior to the 2014 Tripartite Elections.