Zambians from all walks of life have taken to social media to pay glowing tributes to late Lusaka Mayor Wilson Kalumba who died on Tuesday.
Many have regretted having poured scorn on Mr Kalumba after a number of photos showed him sleeping during public functions.
Some of the social media users said they would not have mocked Mr Kalumba if they had known that he suffering ill health.
And Kitwe Mayor and President of the Local Government Association of Zambia Christopher Kang’ombe described Mr Kalumba as a man of extraordinary thoughts on developing cities.
“Sadly no one gets to live again to smell the beautiful flowers laid on their graves. I will miss your extraordinary thoughts on developing cities, especially on how residents should be levied garbage collection fees as provided for by both the ZEMA Act and various legislation governing local government,” Mr Kang’ombe said.
“You were unique in your approach and half the time did not agree with everyone’s political approach to civic leadership. You were too Frank. Those of us who sat with you exchanging ideas on numerous occasions can attest to the fact you were brilliant,” he said.
“If it were not for your health failing you, I believe you could have done more for the people of Lusaka,” the Kitwe Mayor said.
And Lusaka Lawyer Dickson Jere said Mr Kalumba was a professional.
“As mayoral candidate, we met at the PF rally in Matero. He was hiding in the crowd and shy to be on the stage. I encouraged him to move forward but he didn’t want people to recognize him. “They will harass me for money!” He said as we both laughed,” Mr Jere recounted.
“And His Worship the Mayor he became. Our communication was mainly on text and WhatsApp and occasional phone call. He worked hard in office but didn’t know how to psych the public relations of his work. He improved the council’s financials and cash flow but never talked about it.”
Mr Jere added, “He was a boardroom guy who knew how to jiggle papers and figures. The typical “calculator boy”!”
“He was a chartered accountant (ACCA) and holder of Masters Degree in Business (MBA). He was a certified forensic accountant by the American College of Forensic Examiners. He was also a Fellow of the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA) and Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitration (UK). A very knowledgeable man.”
Former Lusaka Mayor Daniel Chisenga said, “A great soul serves everyone all the time even in silence, a great soul never dies. It brings us together again and again. Our great City is in grief and sorrow with all its inhabitants. Goodbye my friend Wilson Kalumba.”