Malawiâ€™s Youth and Sports Minister Enoch Chihana on Wednesday took government officials to task over the delay to complete renovations of BAT ground in Blantyre, which he said are taking longer than necessary.
He warned that heads will roll should there be no significant progress in the next few weeks.
The minister also said he is not amused that despite government allocating millions of kwacha towards the rehabilitation of the ground, there is not much to show on work done.
He has since ordered that an audit be conducted on funds released.
â€œWhere is the money going? Because I do not see anything here to show that the stadium has been undergoing renovations for four years. There are not even dressing rooms for the teams. Where do the teams dress?â€ Chihana wondered when he toured the ground.
He added: â€œThat is why these people [concerned supporters] wanted to stage protests because they have genuine concerns.â€
â€œThis is taxpayersâ€™ money and the money that was allocated for this project needs to be accounted for.
â€œWe are not serious with what we are doing gentlemen; otherwise, it cannot even take two weeks to renovate this place,â€ he said.
He also ordered his principal secretary II [Justin Saidi], who accompanied him on the visit, to apply for funding to speed up the renovations.
â€œI have given you Mr. Saidi homework. Go to the Treasury and get money to have this place worked on urgently. Blantyre is the capital of football and this ground is important in the history of the game in the country. Already, there is an acute shortage of pitches in Blantyre.
â€œAliyense uyo asewere apita [whoever is not serious, will go]! We need to get serious; otherwise, heads will roll,â€ he said.
Chihana also demanded a formal report on the progress of the exercise from Saidi.
That was not all. He also summoned the officials to a meeting over the issue on Monday.
Southern Region Football League (SRFL) chairperson Trouble Kalua also expressed concern that there has been no significant progress on the state of the ground.
Flames coach Kinnah Phiri, who played at the ground in his heyday, said it is sad that the pitch was still not in playable state.
â€œThis ground had rich history in as far as the development of the game in the country is concerned. All past big-name players that you can think ofâ€”the likes of myself, Jack [Chamangwana], the Malunga brothers [late Holman and Kennedy], the Waya brothers [Lawrence, late Harry and George] and others made a name while playing on this pitch,â€ said Kinnah.