Funding woes hit district stadium projects

The 2019 Annual Economic Report released by government shows that most district stadiums projects have stalled mainly due to lack of funding, heightening fears they will miss deadlines.

The projects, which fall under the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, are being implemented in Zomba, Thyolo, Ntcheu, Nkhotakota and Rumphi.

Thyolo Stadium construction is yet to start

The stadiums, including the Mzimba Stadium which has not been projected in the report, are jointly budgeted at over K13 billion.

According to the report, it is only Rumphi Stadium which has been completed.

Zomba has stagnated at 70 percent completion rate.

The facilities that have, so far, been completed there are the perimeter wall and dressing rooms.

 Those that are not yet done are pitch improvement and elevation of the stands, it says.

Thyolo project, whose work will include construction of the perimeter wall, pitch improvement and elevation of the stands, is yet to start.

 This contradicts a Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development declaration last year that the Thyolo project was expected to start last August and would take 18 months.

Already, 10 months have gone while eight remain before the projected period expires.

At Ntcheu Stadium site, the only completed work is the excavation of the land and the Annual Economic Report says “the contractor is waiting to receive the stadium designs from the [district] council.”

The Nkhotakota Stadium only has a perimeter wall completed while the construction of dressing rooms, stands and pitch are way off mark.

The report says about the future of the project: “[Government is] looking for additional funds to work on the facilities.”

Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development spokesperson MuhlabaseMughogho said they are finalising payment processes to the contractors for Zomba, Mzimba and Thyolo.

“We have currently paid some outstanding certificates for stadiums.

“Contractors get their money through certificates.  It’s more or less like a progress report and request for funds from government

“So, after submission of these certificates and scrutiny of the same, that is when money is sent to them,” she said yesterday.

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