The newly constructed state-of-the-art Aquatic Sports Complex at Kamuzu Institute for Sports in Lilongwe which hosted the Regional Youth Five two weeks ago has been massively looted and plundered by thieves, Shire Times has learnt.
According to Kawale Police Station Public Relations Officer Mabvuto Phiri who confirmed this sad development, the thieves went away with six sets heater pumps, which were outside, 30 buckets of paint, cartons of polished tiles and other items. The police PRO said the suspects have already been arrested.
“Investigations are still underway. I will be able to provide more information later,” Phiri said.
The facility, together with the Griffin Saenda Sports Complex in Area 48, is yet to be officially handed over to the Ministry of Youth and Sports. Both facilities are yet to be fully completed despite hosting the Region 5 Youth Games.
In an interview Sunday, Director of Sports in the Ministry of Sports Jameson Ndalama described the incident as unfortunate.
“This is sad but I am waiting for the report on what has been stolen,” Ndalama said.
The Aquatic Sports Complex was constructed with funds from the Malawi Government amounting to K8.2 billion.
Sports analyst Parley Chinyama said it was sad that sports infrastructure was being vandalised.
“Government should outsource the management of these facilities to independent stakeholders who should oversee or operate them on a profit.
“The idea of these being government structures has put a laissez-faire attitude on security by those tasked with overseeing being on government payroll.
“We need independent operators other than civil servants who will take these as their bread and butter,” Chinyama said.
The first phase of the facility involved the construction of the 50-metre (m) long swimming pool, 25m long training swimming pool, new covered stands, rehabilitation of existing stands and a double storey VIP wing and social service block.
In addition, the facility is expected to have a gym, conference hall, water tower and turnstiles entrance. The fence has already been constructed around the facility.