The Dag Hammarskjoeld Stadium
A Serious “Government Scandal”

The Dag Hammarskjoeld Stadium

The stadium used to be near the Lufubu River just between Ndola and the suburb of Itawa. Fondly known as "Dag" the stadium was named in honour of the late United Nations (UN) Secretary General Dag Hammarskjoeld. He died in a plane crash near Ndola on 18 September 1961. Hammarskjoeld was on his way to D R Congo to resolve a civil war that had erupted there.

At the crash site just outside Ndola is the Dag Hammarskjoeld museum. The crash site also hosts a community memorial school and a library in honour of late the secretary general. A beautiful pine forest plantation surrounds the site. Every year in September the United Nations Systems hold commemoration ceremonies.

The "Dag Scandal"

In 1986 Zambia won the bid to host the prestigious continental 1988 Africa Cup of Nations (Africun). The government in its wisdom decided to tear down the old "Dag Stadium" and its place built a new and ultra-modern one. The demolition was quick. An enthusiastic contractor saw to it. Expectations were high. The idea was thoroughly welcome by all. A modern stadium was on the horizon. But it only remained an idea.

The national was stunned. The government had announced that they could not build the Dag Stadium. Reason? As usual the lack of money was blamed. Condemnation flew from all directions. Football fanatics were up in arms. The government could not be shaken. Only in Africa does such happen and the country lost one popular stadium. Many promises to rebuild the "Dag" have failed.

To this day the stadium has never been built. A large field stands on the site as a reminder and evidence of the government’s poor planning. So when the developer Sun Hotel decided to tear down the old structures of two hotels at the Victoria Falls to replace them with new ones great consternations were raised. Just to think two hotels were to be raised down was too much to contemplate. Read this story at the Battle at Victoria Falls .

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