LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Ministry of Labor, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development, reportedly transferred Bingu National Stadium (BNS) Manager Eric Ning’ang’a, to Karonga district after it resolved he was responsible for the Independence Day’s tragedy.
The tragedy led to eight people dying and dozen others injured in a stampede at the facility. The BNS Manager Ning’ang’a axing comes barely a day after the Malawi Police blamed the tragedy on the stadium officials. Police said the officials failed to open the gates in good time, which could have prevented the stampede. However the police report contradicts President Peter Mutharika’s statement on the day of the incident; he blamed the police for failing to employ good tactics in crowd control. In his reaction to the police report, Ning’ang’a confessed to the nation through Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) that the Organizing Committee for the Independence Celebration, ignored his advice that the facility be opened much earlier. “I am taking responsibility because I am the manager of the stadium. However, I was not part of the main organizing committee, which made the decision to open the gates at 10am. If I were at the meeting, I would advise the committee that gates be opened at six O’clock in the morning. “The police did a very good job, they were professional, they controlled the crowd very well, the only problem was the late opening of the gates,” confessed Ning’ang’a. The authorities are yet to comment further on Ning’ang’a’s redeployment to Karonga for what exactly he will be doing in that northern district. Meanwhile, the main opposition Malawi Congress Party’ (MCP) President Lazarus Chakwera called on Government to engage independent investigators over the matter, arguing that Government cannot investigate itself. The stampede occurred when hundreds of people were jostling to enter the stadium to watch a football match between Nyasa Big Bullets and Silver Strikers. The game, Nyasa Bullets won 2-1. It was part of the country’s 53rd Independence Anniversary Celebrations. Dozens more were injured in the stampede, with a 40,000 capacity. :