A good number of legislators have requested government to construct youth centres in their constituencies, but Minister of Labour, Youth and Manpower Development Francis Kasaila has asked them to forward the requests to district councils.
There were three questions in addition to supplementary questions on yesterday’s order for the minister’s oral replies in relation to construction of youth centres and mini stadiums.
However, the members of Parliament (MPs) were not satisfied with the minister’s response that he could only respond to requests on national projects such as Blantyre Youth Centre and Kamuzu Institute for Youth.
Salima South East MP Kasimu Liguluwe (People’s Party-PP) asked Kasaila to consider constructing a youth centre at Katerela Trading Centre while Blantyre North MP Francis Phiso asked for construction of a youth centre between Lirangwe and Mdeka trading centres.
On his part, Thyolo North MP Edmans Kaduya (Democratic Progressive Party-DPP) asked the minister if the government could consider constructing a mini stadium at Bvumbwe Research football ground.
In response to Phiso’s request, Kasaila asked the MP to engage his ministry on how to submit plans to the Local Development Fund (LDF) who are responsible for such projects.
“The areas mentioned are trading centres where the youth should be kept busy, so I agree there is need for a youth centre. But the ministry has plans available for these which if the member could engage me I could share on how to access possible funds for the projects,” he said.
Kasaila said with decentralisation, it was not encouraged for central government to make decisions on where development projects should go but the district councils in liaison with district development committees.
In his supplementary question, Karonga South MP Rev Malani Mtonga (People’s Party-PP) said the district deserved youth centres considering the high number of national football players it has produced over the years.
He mentioned the likes of Ernest Mtawali and Gilbert Chirwa while Speaker Richard Msowoya, himself an MP for Karonga Nyungwe (Malawi Congress Party-MCP), added Bosco Munthali as a son of Karonga.
When asked how much it costs to construct a youth centre, Kasaila said K50 million would suffice to put up a simple structure as well as netball and basketball courts and a football ground. n