By Draxon Maloya:
People of the City of Zomba continue to be starved of the country’s elite football showcase following the demolition and halted construction works of the town’s new city stadium.
The development comes following the old capital city’s only TNM Super League team, Red Lions football Club continued use of Mpira stadium at Chiwembe in the city of Blantyre which is a direct contribution to the revenue base to the country’s major commercial city’s Council, Blantyre.
Before the Lions were relegated to the Southern Region Football Association League three soccer seasons ago the soldiers from the old capital city used Balaka Stadium which was another contribution in revenue collection for Balaka Town Council.
Commenting on the development, former chairperson for Zomba United Football Club, Charles Maulidi expressed disappointment with the earlier decision to demolish the Community Center Ground which was still playable for TNM Super League games though there was need for a new facility.
“It’s like, we are now used not to watch big matches because it’s over 5 yrs now without super league games.
“Most people feel it was a mistake to demolish the community ground because it was still in a playable state despite need for a new facility, construction progress is just too slow and It may even take another 3 to 5 years to get finished.
Kod ngati iwo samaziwa? Like now the contractor has stopped working on the sight waiting for money and this has been the trend ever since the project started,” Maulidi complained.
And in his remarks the ward councilor for Zomba Town, Christopher Jana shares the same sentiments with Maulidi accusing the authorities of playing hide and seek on a facility which could be raising revenue apart from entertaining Zomba City residents.
“It is very sad, the new government adminstration seems not to be interested to finish construction works of the the stadium because progress has been too slow, and the initial agreed period for the completion of construction works expired.
“Currently government is failing to pay him (Contractor) two certificates including upfront payment of K400 million which he applied for sometime before,” Jana said .
Efforts to get information from the parliamentarian for Zomba Central Constituency, Bester Awali could not yield anything tangible since he referred this reporter to the Council’s Engineer, Mayamiko Kabango who until this day is yet to respond to our questionnaire emailed to him a couple of days ago.
“Call the city council engineer, he will be able to give you percentage of work done and that to be completed,” Briefly Awali said.
Since that the time Zomba City ward councillors went to Sanjika where president Dr Lazarus Macarthy Chakwera committed that by December (2020) last year, he expected Zomba Stadium works completed but nothing of that sort has materialized.