Nyasa Big Bullets interim General Secretary, Albert Chigoga, has admitted that they did not involve the police let alone city authorities on Sunday during a parade, which ended in tragedy after a car ran over fan, Raphael Nkhoma, in Blantyre.
Blantyre City Council Public Relations Manager, Anthony Kasunda, has since warned that it is illegal to hold any event in public without seeking permission from the city.
“You write the council expressing everything clearly so that we can do all the estimations on the number of people expected and requirements. Then the Chief Executive Officer plus the technical team calculates a service charge,” Kasunda said Tuesday without being specific on the nature of punishment for those holding illegal parades.
“When we give the permission, we issue two copies; one for the organiser of the parade and the other copy for them to give it to the police. It is not acceptable to conduct any function in an open space without permission.”
However, Chigoga was quick to claim that Sunday’s triumphant entry into Blantyre was a parade by default, adding that they will hold a proper one soon to celebrate their Carlsberg Cup success.
“The actual parade will take place in Blantyre. To be honest, even if we had not paraded the cup, there was no way people were not going to be along the road. It was not an official parade and therefore, there was no need for us to go to police,” Chigoga said.
“I can assure that the next parade will involve the police. There will be maximum security. However, I do not know as to how often we can engage the people because that means we need the police lining all the way from Lilongwe to Blantyre.”
After beating rivals, Be Forward Wanderers, 5-3 on post-match penalties to win the cup at Bingu National Stadium on Saturday, Bullets jumped into a shuttle from Lilongwe to Blantyre.
However, the celebrations turned tragic after a car ran over 15-year-old Nkhoma at Kameza Round-about, raising questions on Bullets’ security arrangements.
Wanderers, Silver Strikers and Kamuzu Barracks also hold such parades, but it is unclear if they seek permission.
National police publicist, James Kadadzera, Tuesday referred questions pertaining to the parade to Central and Southern region police.
Central Region police spokesperson, Nollettie Chihana, yesterday said there was no hint that Bullets involved the Police on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Bullets family thronged Pule Village, T/A Kapeni in Blantyre Tuesday to bury the body of Nkhoma who was a Blantyre Rural Football Team player in the Fifa-Fam Under-16 League.