Spokespersons for both parties said their respective sides would rather debate the whole national budget statement.
“The budget has a lot of issues so I cannot be commenting on each allocation. As MCP, we will be commenting on the whole budget. Our leaders in the House will speak on other allocations after proper scrutiny,” said MCP spokesperson Maurice Munthali to one of the local newspapers on Wednesday.
And Munthali’s UTM counterpart, Joseph Chidanti Malunga said: “On the stadium issue, for now we have no comment. We think those who brought the issue had their reasons for doing so. It is not in the interest of the party to comment now. However, a budget cannot be 100percent [fine] as there are other allocations that make sense and others, do not.”
However, political analyst Mustapha Hussein said the parties’ current stand on the matter proves that the issue was contentious.
“This is an issue that involves sports and sports involve the youth. Our Parliamentarians will not be comfortable to show their stand on it for fear of being seen to be against the youth who form the majority of voters,” said Hussein.
HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo irked the two teams when he said he was going to lobby Parliament to reject the allocation, saying President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika was supposed to fund the stadia from his own pockets.
The two teams reacted angrily to the threat, saying that Government also benefits from the two teams through 25 percent deductions from games played at Government-owned stadiums.
Finance Minister Joseph Mwanamvekha presented the MK1.7 trillion budget for the 2019/2020 financial year to Parliament on Monday.