In his honour: Makwala will have a facility named after him PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
FRANCISTOWN: Tutume residents have identified a piece of land where the delayed Isaac Makwala mini sports complex will be built.
Tutume Sub District Council chairperson, Anthony Chebane told a full council meeting this week where the facility will be built.
“We have been challenged with the identification of a plot for the mini sports complex. The piece of land has been identified in Magapatona ward. The lease for the plot has been issued. The tendering process is yet to start and we will have physical progress being reported in our next sitting,” he said. He later told Mmegi Sport that P1 million out of the P5 million initially allocated for the project by the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development (MYSC) was still available. The P4 million was diverted to the construction of a similar project in the Chobe District Council. The move was taken after the Tutume Sub District did not timeously identify a suitable area to construct the mini sports complex. Then it was said that there were divisions amongst the residents of Tutume as to where the sports complex would be built. “The P1 million will be used for the preliminary works of the mini sports complex. The ministry promised that once we
have found suitable land for the project, the money that was diverted to the Chobe project will be replaced.” He added, now that land has been identified, they expect the ministry to make the funds available. Last year, when answering a question in Parliament, MYSC assistant minister Buti Billy said the government will construct the Makwala Sports Complex during the 2021-2022 financial year. It remains to be seen if the government will continue with plans to construct the sports complex owing to financial challenges brought about by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In 2018, the then president Ian Khama said the government would honour the performance, zeal and determination of Makwala demonstrated at the 2018 World Athletics Championships in London by naming the planned Tutume sports complex after him. Makwala is a Tutume native. Khama’s remarks came after Makwala was prevented from running the 400m race to qualify for the final at the 2018 games after being diagnosed with a stomach ailment. Makwala later qualified for the final after the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) decided to allow him to run a solo time-trial race.