Sports Minister pleads with private and parastatal sectors to invest into sports

* As Mukuru officially unveils K175 million 1-year sponsorship deal for Mighty Wanderers FC

* There a lot of companies, private or parastatals, which are making big profits but they are failing to give back to Malawians

* Football and other sporting disciplines are helping in as far as creating job opportunities among Malawians

By Victor Singano Jnr, Correspondent

At the official signing ceremony of the 1-year sponsorship at K175 million between international mobile money financial service provider, Mukuru Company and Mighty Wanderers Football Club, Minister Sports Richard Chimwendo Banda has called on private companies as well as the parastatal to come forward and start  playing their roles by supporting local sports disciplines as one way of helping of developing the country’s sports.

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Chimwendo Banda said it was very unfortunate to note that the majority of the sports clubs in the country’s elite league are facing serious financial hiccups — yet there a lot of companies, private or parastatals, which are making big profits but they are failing to give back to Malawians like taking part in sports.

He further said football and other sporting disciplines are helping in as far as creating job opportunities among Malawians, which is a very recommendable work.

“As Government, we are delighted of this partnership because the beginning of building a strong national team starts from the club level,” Chimwendo Banda said at the event held on Wednesday at Mpira Stadium in Blantyre.

“If clubs are failing to have sounding sponsorship it always affects the development of football in any country. It is the high time for the  private sectors to come on board and start supporting football other sporting disciplines.”

The Minister also urged Wanderers family to make sure they put things in order by avoiding quarrels, which he said affects or contributes to the loss of sponsorship since companies do not feel comfortable to associate with people who are fighting for fear of damaging their   brand.

“Everybody should know his role, and trust one another and make sure there is always peace — because this is the only secret that can keep the partnership to take years,” said the Minister.

In his remarks, Mukuru Company Country Manager, Charles Phiri disclosed that the company was motivated to sign the partnership with Wanderers as one way of giving back to Malawians after being in operation in Malawi since 2012.

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Phiri said within the period, their institution has been growing and the numbers of Malawian customers are now many and that they thought it wise to support football as it has a lot of fans which they believe will also add value to their company.

“As a company we are growing in Malawi and we want each and every person to know our products and services as well as hep Mighty Wanderers club to grow and be successful.

“We’ve signed a one-year sponsorship as a start but this is just the beginning because we have come to stay and will show our commitment inorder to assist the team but the contract is open to negotiations and renew,” he said.

Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president, Walter Nyamilandu Manda applauded Mukuru for coming into football, saying it will help to bring morale to the Nomads.

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Nyamilandu further urged the team to be united and safeguard the sponsorship by being transparent and accountability since every sponsor requires success stories.

“There is a lot that the club needs to do like making sure that they are back to their winning ways and putting their house in order with the aim of promoting the sponsors’ brand because it is not easy to secure partners in this period where countries are going through economic challenges globally,” Nyamilandu said.

Wanderers Board secretary Humphrey Mvula expressed happiness for sealing the deal at last after along time of waiting and suffering.

Mvula therefore, assured Mukuru Company that they will do all they can to make sure the company get the needed benefits and also promised to behave in order sustain the sponsorship.

“It has been difficult to  convince Mukuru to partner with us and it will be disappointing to let them go due to poor organisation because sponsors don’t feel to associate with a house which is on fire.

“We’ve talked to our followers as well as the Executive to be united because we want other companies to come in and join Mukuru,” he said.

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