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Soccer centre offered for Covid-19 quarantine cases vandalised in Malawi

Malawian ministry of health officials inspecting the Luwinga Technical Centre. Photo: Facebook/ Football Association of Malawi

Malawian ministry of health officials inspecting the Luwinga Technical Centre. Photo: Facebook/ Football Association of Malawi

Published May 6, 2020

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Rustenburg – The Luwinga technical centre, which the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has offered as a quarantine centre for Covid-19 suspected cases, has been vandalised, said the association's general secretary, Alfred Gunda.

The football governing body offered the centre to the Malawi government as one of its corporate social responsibility initiatives in the fight against Covid-19. 

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The ministry of health accepted the offer and went ahead to start setting up structures at the facility in readiness for the official handover next week, Gunda said.

On Saturday, the communities of Luwinga invaded the centre, vandalised the buildings and all ministry of health equipment, protesting that the quarantine centre posed a health risk to the communities.

"Our gesture was out of goodwill and it is sad that it has not been well received. It was needless for the community to vandalise the property instead of engaging relevant authorities to raise their concerns.

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"Our offer still stands for the support of the Malawi population during this pandemic, where we need to come together to fight against the coronavirus and we hope the matter will be resolved amicably," Gunda said.

News website Malawi24 reported that people surrounding Luwinga Technical centre in Mzuzu said they were not against the decision, but the government should have first consulted their leaders.

"Look at the place, it does not have a security fence and it is easy for surrounding community members to contract the coronavirus.

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"Secondly, the centre is not in good condition and all those things need to be in place before opening the centre," a resident told the publication.

Community members allegedly burnt beds and mattresses which the ministry of health put inside the centre.

Luwinga technical centre was constructed under te auspices of the Football Association of Malawi and Fifa, with the aim of developing football in Malawi from grass-roots levels.

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African News Agency (ANA)

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