Human rights activist Timothy Mtambo says he is a fan of Be Forward Wanderers.

The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) chairperson said, therefore, his move to lobby parliamentarians to block funding towards the construction of stadia for the Nomads and Bullets, does not mean he has ill intentions.

“I follow football. Actually, I am a Wanderers supporter, but what I am saying is that the decision by President [Peter] Mutharika to construct stadia for the two teams, which are private entities, will have far-reaching repercussions because it is the future generations that will suffer in repaying the loans,” Mtambo was quoted as having said by Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) on Tuesday.

This was after supporters of the two local football powerhouses gave him a 72-hour ultimatum to withdraw his statement, failing which they will hold vigils at HRDC offices.

“Let Mtambo know that he is also infringing on our rights as citizens of this country to have a share of national cake. In Lilongwe, Silver Strikers, Civil Sporting Club and Blue Eagles enjoy government support and use government facilities. So, why should big teams such as Bullets and Wanderers not enjoy such privileges as well?” said Nomads’ main supporters’ committee chairperson Melvin Nkunika.

Mutharika defended the move to construct the stadia, saying: “That criticism is not justified. We are developing football in this country. Besides, these stadiums will be used and enjoyed by the public.”

Minister of Finance and Economic Development Joseph Mwanamvekha allocated K1.6 billion towards the Bullets and Wanderers stadium projects when he presented the 2019/20 National Budget on Monday.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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