Ministry of Youth and Sports allocattion in the 2020/21 National Budget has been revised upwards from K7.3 billion to K8.4 billion, representing an increament of K1.1 billion, following a mid-term budget review.
Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu said the upward adjustment is “for the development of sports infrastructure in Lilongwe and Mzuzu”.
Government has prioritised the construction of Mzuzu Youth Centre, construction of an indoor netball court and refurbishment of Kamuzu Institute of Sports in Lilongwe which is expected to host the 2022 African Union Region Five Games.
The construction of the indoor netball court already started in Lilongwe.
However, the construction of Mzuzu Youth Centre is yet to take off after Ministry of Youth and Sports changed the contractor for the project.
Meanwhile, the construction of stadiums for Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers is still not among the ministry’s priorities.
Thyolo Central legislator for Ben Phiri (Democratic Progressive Party-DPP) yesterday argued that the exclusion of the stadium projects proves that government has failed to fulfill its promise to continue all projects that the previous DPP government started.
He said: “The new administration assured the nation that they would take over all projects that were started by the previous government but the latest developments prove otherwise.
“Already, this is a wasted year in sports due to the prolonged break of sporting activities as a result of Covid-19, the stadia could be a big relief once sporting activities return. We are not against the government, but we have to hold them accountable on their promises.”
Bullets chief administration officer Albert Chigoga said they are hopeful that the stadia will get funding in future.
“We will cautiously wait to see what happens next. Otherwise, we are hopeful that government’s decisions will be good for sports development in the country,” he said.
In resposne, Mlusu said the Bullets and Wanderers stadiums construction projects will be considered in the next fiscal year.
“The budget review was mainly for pressing issues. Allocations to continued construction of stadia will be considered in the next fiscal year,” he said.