BY STEVEN WYSON
Balaka West Member of Parliament, Bertha Ndebele, has asked Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to rehabilitate Balaka Stadium.
The match facility used to host TNM Super League and cup games with Be Forward Wanderers and Red Lions frequenting it for most of their games in the 2017 season.
In her question to the ministry during parliamentary deliberations last week, Ndebele said the stadium is in a poor state as it does not have seats, water and electricity.
“In its current state, Balaka Stadium cannot host big games as it used to. We are therefore calling on the government to help the people of Balaka by bringing the stadium back to a usable state,” Ndebele said.
But Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Benson Phiri, said the responsibility of rehabilitating the stadium lies with Balaka District Council.
“Let me take this opportunity to inform the House that once construction is completed, the structure becomes the responsibility of the council. Central government cannot go to rehabilitate the stadium. The request should be tabled at the council. The council should generate revenue to cater for the issues being raised,” Phiri said.
Ndebele had also asked the Ministry to construct a netball court at the stadium as it only caters for football. Phiri promised to look into the matter.
Phiri, however, dismissed Ndebele’s request for another stadium at Phalula Trading Centre.
“The Ministry does not have any plans to construct a stadium at Phalula for now considering that Balaka already has a stadium. There is need to consider other districts that do not have any stadium,” Phiri said.
Machinga East Member of Parliament, Esther Jolobala, also asked the Ministry to construct a stadium in Machinga which she said immediate past Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Kondwani Nankhumwa, had earlier promised.
But Phiri said he needed to go back to his predecessor to find out more on the issue and respond later.