Funding Woes: Bingu National Stadium Owes Escom K22 Million

Bingu National Stadium (BNS) despite larking in millions from football matches is failing to pay for electricity, a situation which officials have attributed to poor funding.

Escom has since disconnected power at the stadium as it is failing to settle a K22 million accumulated electricity bills.

BNS spokesperson, Ireen Nkhokwe confirmed the power cut, saying they are now relying on a generator for their operations.

Government allocates about K3 million to BNS each month for operation.

“It is tough for us to operate because electricity bill each month is about K7 million and water it is around K1 million,” said one official.

Civo Stadium is also struggling to operate due to inadequate funding from government. Water and electricity bills having been piling while maintenance projects have stalled at the two stadiums.

Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Man Power Development Francis Kasaila said they are hoping Treasury will rescue the facility.

All these struggles, according to officials, are a result of inadequate support from the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) which owns the stadium, clubhouse, basketball court and other surrounding sports facilities.

Rashid Mtelera, secretary to the Civo board, admitted that they have struggled to keep the facility in shape.

He said: “We have always wanted to improve the facilities, but our dreams are usually shattered by lack of funds. However, we have been assured by government that we will be given resources to initiate

Meanwhile, analysts have warned that the development risks plunging the two institutions into a fate similar to the closed Kamuzu Stadium, which is in ruins.

He said: “In my view, the management of that stadium [BNS] should be different from Civo and Kamuzu stadiums. That stadium needs to have either a special management team that is semi autonomous or have it partly subcontracted. Whatever arrangement we adopt should target that the stadium be self-sustaining.”NE

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