By MOSES CHIMFWEMBE –
THE task force engaged to run the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola has said the K80,000 monthly grant it receives from Government is not enough to properly sustain the operations of the US$65 million ultra-modern arena.
A member of the task force, who opted to speak on condition of anonymity, said about K210,000 was needed on a monthly basis to effectively run the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium unlike the K80,000 it received through the Ministry of Sports.
The revelation comes in the wake of Sports Minister Chishimba and some members of the public who have expressed concern at the poor state of the stadium that has a capacity of slightly over 40,000.
Kambwili has since warned stadium management against neglecting the facility which he said was built at a huge cost.
He said the Government will not tolerate poor maintenance works on the stadium and urged the task force that consists of employees from various Government departments and parastatal companies to live up to their expectation by taking good care of the structure.
“I have received reports that the stadium is not being looked after properly and that the pitch in some areas has gone brown. I think I will not take kindly to that kind of attitude towards that infrastructure.
Government spent a lot of money to put up that structure. People have been sending messages to me and I have also been reading about their concerns in the newspapers. I want the stadium to be looked after the way it should,” he said.
The minister, who is on a tour of the Copperbelt, said he would pay an impromptu visit on the stadium management to ascertain their alleged failure to properly maintain the stadium.
Kambwili said this when he paid a courtesy call on Copperbelt Minister Mwenya Musenge at his office on Monday.
However, a member task force said about K210,000 was needed for the stadium to be run properly adding that K80,000 as a monthly from the ministry as well as the K100,000 management raises every month from hiring out the facility was not adequate.
The source said the task force faced serious financial challenges in carrying out its mandate.
“We face serious financial challenges to run the stadium and we have informed government about it when we requested for an increase in funding. The team is eager to do its best but there is no money to do that.
I think it comes back to the government because even the little resources we are raising through hiring out the facility cannot meet the budget,” the source said.