Zambia: We've Shamed Critics - Kambwili

GOVERNMENT has said it has shamed doomsayers who thought Zambia would fail to host the 2012 Supreme Council for Sports in Africa (SCSA) Zone Six Games and has since named the Olympic-size swimming pool '90 Days Legacy Swimming Pool'.

The newly-constructed swimming pool situated at the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC), and was officially handed over to Government yesterday by Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Group, has been constructed within three months.

Sports Minister Chishimba Kambwili said the Patriotic Front (PF) Government had made hosting the zonal games a reality following failure to host the 1988 Africa Cup of Nations football tournament and the 2011 All Africa Games due to poor sports infrastructure in the country.

"As a responsible Government, we have been working tirelessly round the clock to ensure that Zambia hosts the games successfully and save the Government and Zambian people the embarrassment of failure to host the games.

"I want to assure the nation that all the facilities are now complete and ready for use by the athletes," Kambwili said.

He attributed the delay to finishing rehabilitation and construction works to a tedious procurement procedure which he said needed to be changed, saying the tendering process took about three to five months before contracts were given out.

He said the past Government had done nothing about hosting of the games as no renovations were done before the PF Government took over office.

"The agreement with the SCSA was signed in 2011. However, nothing was done on the ground in preparation for the games," Kambwili said.

He said the achievement should be commended and that people should support such efforts aimed at delivering successful games.

Kambwili paid tribute to the Ministry of Communications, Works and Supply project structural engineer at the Buildings Department, Chimfwembe Mfula for her tireless efforts in ensuring the Games' venues were ready.

Kambwili also took a swipe at Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company for alleging that they were inefficient towards filling up of the swimming pool constructed at a cost of K17 billion.

Kambwili said the rehabilitation of the UNZA hostels was a legacy that the Games would leave behind.

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