Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development has allocated K3.2 billion for sports projects in the 2020/21 National Budget with netball, Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers among the earmarked beneficiaries.
According to a Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development financial statement, the redevelopment of the Kamuzu Institute for Sports is allocated K1 billion.
Super League giants Wanderers and Bullets stadia projects, which got K1.6 billion last year, have jointly been allocated K1 billion in the new financial plan.
Malawi Queens’ indoor netball court construction, whose plan was hatched in 2010, has been given K500 million while the Mzuzu Youth Centre, which got K500 million last year, has been allocated K780 million.
In an interview yesterday, Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) general secretary Carol Bapu applauded government for committing funds towards the indoor netball court.
She expressed hope that once completed, the facility to be constructed in Blantyre, will help the country host high-profile international matches.
“Due to poor infrastructure, we have been unable to attract big netball countries like England, Australia and New Zealand to tour Malawi,” she said.
Bapu said the lack of facilities means that scheduling games during the rainy season is problematic.
Meanwhile, Wanderers have described the K1 billion allocation as a positive step.
Said Wanderers general secretary Victor Maunde: “It’s a good development as it indicates commitment on the part of government.”
Mzuzu Youth Centre was launched in 2008 and, so far, there is nothing on the ground despite over K800 million being allocated to the project over the years.
Asked about its progress, Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture spokesperson Symon Mbvundula said he did not have details and asked for more time.
On the netball court, he said that a contractor has already been identified.
Kamuzu Institute for Sports is expected to undergo intensive renovation as it set to host the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Games in 2022.
However, despite getting K500 million in the 2019/20 financial year, the rehabilitation has not taken off at a reasonable pace.
Recently, the Malawi National Council of Sports, which is at the centre of organising the games, said the facility needs K19 billion to be fit for the competition which will attract over 10 nations.
Among others, the facility needs an indoor gymnastics theatre, Olympic standard swimming pool, cafeteria and hostels.
Mbvundula admitted that the K1 billion allocation in the 2020/21 Budget, which takes effect on July 1, is on the lower side.
“The allocation is not enough to complete the entire project. However, we are optimistic that Treasury will continue funding it as and when need be once construction starts,” he said.