Zambia’s hosting of the Zone Six Youth Games is in shambles as the country shows glaring levels of an ill-prepared lot.
With 7days remaining before the games start, the event’s main stadium – Nkoloma – which is supposed to hos the opening and closing ceremony is far from being ready.
The doping rooms at the stadium in Lusaka’s Chelsone area, about 10 kilometres east of the central business district, are not even 75 percent done.
There are no floodlights which would have permitted games being played and beamed live at night while some seats are yet to be fixed.
Reports after an on-the-spot-check reveal that the painting is still under progress but show no sign of being done 100 percent when the games kick off.
Apparently, the constructor is contemplating to remove floodlights at the Independence stadium flood lights so that they can be used at Nkoloma.
Independence Stadium is currently under renovation with a new stadium also being erected metres away from the old structure.
At the University of Zambia, the Games Main Village, some hostels have not even been painted while the access road from Football House to NASDEC is still in pathetic condition with embarrassing pot-holes.
The new swimming pool at the Olympic Youth Development Centre is doubtful for completion to successfully host the Games as electrical installations to link it with the electronic score board are not done and several other fittings were way behind schedule.
Officials around the Games say Zambia should have by this time be making final touches but the rate at which things stands seems to suggest as if the event is six months away when there is only seven days remaining.
Representatives from 13 countries in the Sadc region, which makes up Zone Six countries, are expected to arrive in the country for the Games.
Meanwhile, ZNBC has hired staff and equipment from South Africa to broadcast the Zone Six Games at a cost of about K13 billion.
ZNBC director of programmes Barry Lwando said ZNBC was interested in providing quality broadcasting of the games and therefore decided to outsource equipment and human resources.
Lwando said since ZNBC was broadcasting a game of such magnitude for the first time, it was important that they also build capacity from established broadcasting companies.
He also revealed that they were sweating how they would deal with lighting at Nkoloma Stadium before the games commence. The Zone Six Games are scheduled to start in the first week of December.