By Raphael Likaka
Zomba City Mayor, Councilor Davie Maunde, says the Zomba Stadium will open for use in July.
Councilor Maunde expressed his optimism during a tour of the Zomba Stadium where he said he was impressed with the speed and workmanship despite the contractor encountering numerous financial challenges ranging from delayed payments from the government to Covid-19 work restrictions.
He said the government has shown commitment to the Zomba City Council that it will finish the project in the shortest time, adding that he as mayor will closely monitor the project to ensure it ends by July.
He observed that Super League Red Lions have been denied use of the stadium as home ground and that the team use Balaka Stadium as home ground.
“This will come to an end very shortly,” the Mayor said while anticipating that Zomba City Council will soon collect much revenue from games played at the stadium.
Zomba City Council, Chief Engineer, Mayamiko Kabango said construction of the Zomba Stadium is drawing closer to completion as he acknowledged that the contractors met numerous setbacks such as delayed payments.
Kabango said the Zomba City Council agreed with the contractor to let the stadium open for use though third phase of the stadium is not yet.
The Chief Engineer observed that work on some of the stands and the VIP would be finished by the intended opening month of July.
Kabango said the project which started in 2017 would have been finished by October, 2021 had it not been for the Covid-19 pandemic, financial challenges plus continuous heavy rains.
“Though third phase of the stadium will still be in progress, we will still allow the stadium to open for use,” Kabango added.
An engineer working for DEC Construction Company, lgnacio Ngoma Jr, said the construction works at the Zomba Stadium delayed due to continuous heavy rains following cyclones Anna and Gombe apart from delayed payments from the Government.
He, however, expressed hope that the second phase of the project will be completed by July, adding that soccer lovers should expect to watch teams play by the stated month.
Ngoma said DEC Construction Company was finalizing construction of netball, basketball and volleyball courts apart from a running track.
Construction of Zomba Stadium started in 2017 and has taken five years thereby denying people of Zomba and other areas opportunity to watch Super League matches.
Zomba Stadium is expected to accommodate about 20,0000 spectators.