National netball team captain Carol Mtukule-Ngwira says the Queens do not get the rewards they deserve for putting the country on the map.
She was reacting to Youth and Sports Minister Ulemu Msungama’s sentiments that what the Queens get is a raw deal
Said Mtukule-Ngwira: “It’s pleasing to hear about the minister’s assurance to do something urgent about it. Otherwise, we are not motivated, we do not get the recognition that we deserve compared to the effort we put in. In fact, we are the least paid national team.
“We only dedicate ourselves for the sake of the nation and out of passion for the game.
“Just imagine, besides the K2 000 daily training/camping allowance, up to now we still get K20 000 each as game bonus for a win and $50 (about K37 250) each per day as external allowance.”
Mtukule-Ngwira, who has played for the Queens for over a decade now, said their allowances have not been revised for over 10 years.
Msungama was left dumbfounded after learning that the Queens get a meagre K2 000 each as training allowance per day during a meeting he had with Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) on Thursday and ordered the immediate revision of the same.
NAM president Khungekile Matiya said in an interview yesterday: “You could actually see from his [minister’s] reaction that he was very disappointed. He actually said even if it were K5 000, it would still be on the lower side. He was disappointed that for all their effort to put the nation on the map, the girls get peanuts.”
The Nation established that during the meeting, Msungama asked for an explanation from Malawi National Council of Sports and its sports development manager Ruth Mzengo said the council’s board already revised allowances for both the Queens and the Flames and they were only awaiting approval.
Msungama has since asked for documentation to that effect.
Matiya said the minister also assured them that the new Tonse Alliance Government will ensure that the state-of-the-art netball court, which government pledged over a decade ago, is constructed.
The indoor netball court is one of the projects that has been affected by government’s order to suspend projects.
Matiya said during the meeting, NAM also made a number requests, including asking government through the minister, to acquire land and resources to have their own court and offices from where they can be generating funds through gate revenue.
On his part, Msungama said being the national team that stands head and shoulders above the rest, the Queens deserve better than what they are getting now.
“It is true, it was distressing to learn about the peanuts which the girls get. In fact, there is a huge gap between them and what their football counterparts get.
“I will sit down with Sports Council officials to see how best we can improve the current situation. The Queens are our pride and they need to be rewarded for that,” he said.