… Says money can be used to construct 100 classroom blocks
Oxfam has described government’s plans to build stadiums for Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers as regressive saying the money should be channelled towards more pressing issues.
In a statement on Wednesday, the charitable organization condemned government’s decision to fund construction of stadiums for the two clubs which are private entities.
On Monday, Minister of Finance Joseph Mwanamvekha announced a K1.6 billion allocation for the stadiums as government seeks to fulfil President Peter Mutharika’s campaign promise to the two clubs.
In reaction to the budget statement on Wednesday, Oxfam in Malawi Country Director Lingalireni Mihowa said the MK1.6 billion is enough to construct more than 100 standard school blocks with two classrooms each or stock medication for a rural health centre that would benefit thousands of people who are currently struggling to access quality healthcare.
“At the state in which public health and education systems are in the country, one would not expect the government to allocate a huge amount of public resources to finance private entities.
“The Stadiums are not a pressing issue especially that the budget has already proposed more meaningful youth focused interventions through provision of loans, youth employment through internship and afforestation programs among others,’’ Mihowa said.
She then urged the Mutharika administration to review the allocation to ensure that many Malawians benefit from the public funds.
She said: “This must be re-looked at and resources be channelled to initiatives that will help reduce the poverty burden on many people.”