Long at last. The Bingu National Stadium (BNS) has got its electricity back after government settled a K32 million bill.
The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) disconnected power to the stadium in November due to an outstanding bill.
For six months, the magnificent facility located in Lilongwe’s Area 48 has been running without electricity, but Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Minister Francis Kasaila on Thursday confirmed that the bill has been paid.
“It’s true that government has settled the matter to bring back power to the stadium,” said Kasaila
The Sports Minister added that they intend to negotiate with treasury to have a special allocation to the stadium to mitigate against unfortunate occurrences like power cuts.
“We will engage our colleagues in the Ministry of Finance to consider setting aside the allocation because electricity and water bills are a big headache. We will also propose to them to allocate a share of proceeds from the stadium revenue back to the facility for these utility bills,” he said.
Proceeds from the stadium’s activities are normally deposited into government’s account number one.
Kasaila further explained that they will engage Escom to consider rating the stadium on public and not commercial tariff, saying the facility is often used for public events and not commercial purposes all the time.
On average, the stadium gets a K5 million electricity bill every month.
The power re-connection has come just in time, as the stadium is set to host Malawi’s most iconic football match the big Blantyre derby between sworn rivals Be Forward Wanderers and Nyasa Big Bullets this Saturday.