Mutharika’s ministers faulted for death of children in BNS stampede

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The main organising committee of the 53rd Independence Celebrations which comprised cabinet ministers has been faulted for the stampede that led to the death of eight people on July 6.

The findings by a taskforce established to probe the Bingu National Stadium (BNS) tragedy has blamed the organising committee for the stampede that led to the death of the eight.

Joseph Mwanamvekha

Mwanamvekha faulted.

This was revealed on Tuesday when the taskforce was presenting its findings to President Peter Mutharika at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.

The report that was presented by the taskforce led by chairperson of the taskforce Zangazanga Chikhosi has faulted the Joseph Mwanamvekha led committee for poor planning, lack of decision making and miscalculation in setting 10am as the time of opening the gates of the stadium.

The report has also revealed that poor coordination among responsible organs was another cause of the tragedy.

According to the report, the leadership on the ground failed to effectively coordinate with various players in making overarching and interagency wide decisions.

The taskforce has in the report blamed poor coordination between the main organising committee and various stakeholders like the police, department of sports and BNS management.

“The staff from the department of sports, the Police and BNS management team worked in isolation. Each group only reorganised and utilized its chain of command and worked in its own,” says the report.

On the part of Malawi Police Service (MPS), the report has said that the men in uniform should have realised that the place was to be flooded by Malawians hence should have avoided using measures like teargas.

In his remarks after receiving the report, Mutharika said the findings will be scrutinized and all necessary recommendations and action will be made.

“We will certainly look into the report. Wherever there is evidence of culpability or wrongdoing, the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General will make appropriate recommendations and action will be taken,” said Mutharika.

The taskforce has since recommended that government should consider constructing a ring road around the stadium to facilitate easy access and speed up evacuation during emergencies among others.

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