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BNS debt rises to K153 million

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Bingu National Stadium (BNS) continues to face financial woes as the facility is struggling to pay.

water bills amounting to K153 million, dating back to the period of construction.

The development has forced management to close the upper stadium due to the shortage of water with the main pitch also in danger if water supply does not improve in the next two months.

BNS acting Operations Manager, MacMillan Mwale, confirmed that the facility is struggling to settle water bills.

“We owe Lilongwe Water Board K153 million. Part of this amount is from the time of constructing the stadium but authorities are working on settling the bill. We are also considering sustainable water sources.

“As a way of dealing with such problems, a borehole was sunk to supply water to our two pitches. But such efforts are on-going and we will find solutions soon,” Mwale said.
Lilongwe Water Board fixed a prepaid meter at the facility but due to the choking bill, 60 percent is deducted at every transaction in line with the agreement between the two parties.

Lack of water at BNS has resulted into the drying of the upper stadium’s pitch which complements the main pitch.

The stadium, through the Ministry of Sports, receives K4 million every month for operations.

Director of Sports in the ministry, Jameson Ndalama, said he was aware of the funding challenges but asked for more time before commenting on the matter.

The China-built stadium rarely hosts TNM Super League matches after the re-opening of Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.

The last high profile match it hosted was the 2019 Airtel Top 8 final between eventual winners Silver Strikers and Karonga United.

Lilongwe-based Super League teams use other match venues such as Civo, Nankhaka, Silver and Dedza stadiums as home grounds for their games.

The venues have proved to be cheaper compared to BNS.

Constructed through a concessional loan amounting to $70million (about K50 billion), the state-of-the-art facility was opened in 2017 with a match between Malawi national football team and Chinese side, Guangzhou R& F, which ended in a 2-2 stalemate.

BNS has also been hosting most of the Flames’ big matches.

Credit : The Times

PALIBE NDEMANGA

ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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