By Miles Bwalya Sampa,
CEREMONIAL VS. ELECTED MAYORS
I generally refer to the Mayors prior to 2016 as the Chikwelete Mayors. Robert Chikwelete was the LCC Mayor in 2011 when we assumed power with PF from the almighty MMD. I thought he was theatrical and more so that he was fighting to be the Lusaka District PF Chairman but he found himself in a ‘wrong’ campaign camp and was recognised as such at one public event in Chawama by the late President Michael C. Sata but then rebuked against the position at the next Lusaka public event next day or two.
I still visually see him sweating at the event-lol. That’s why you see me wash my hands out of all party political positions as I remain the Mayor of Lusaka.Chikwelete, Mposha, Nawa, Chilato, Mulenga Sata, Daniel Chisenga etc were all under the old Constitution and very ceremonial in nature.
They waited for state functions to arrive with a gong or chain around their necks, sit, listen to the speech by the guest of honour, eat and then drive back in the K1 flagged car to Civic centre office. After collecting their seating allowances, they would not even bother to check what the Town Clerk or LCC Directors have been upto or indeed whether they showed up for work or not. These Mayors were elected as Councillors in one of the 33 Wards of Lusaka and then picked as a Mayor by the other 32 Councilors in a round table ‘mock’ ballot.
By default of design, the Chikwelete Mayors reporting lines were lopsided. These Mayors used to report directly to LCC Management who would also report and salute on a daily basis to LCC Markets and Bus stops Managers.
Post 2016 and in the current Zambian Constitution, Mayors are elected directly by the People of Lusaka from all the 7 Constituencies namely Matero, Mandevu, kabwata,Lusaka Central, Kanyama, Chawama and Munali. The Roles of Mayors are also enshrined inside the Constitution.
Thus far Lusaka City Council has only had two elected Mayors in the history of Zambia. These are the late His Worship Wilson Kalumba (MHSRIEP) and the incumbent Miles Bwalya Sampa.
Reporting lines since and now should be and is Market & Bus stop managers to LCC Management and to the Mayor’s office. These turn of constitutional events in reporting lines at LCC remains a challenge evidently given a majority are still in denial and resisting the inevitable constitutional requirement. Ever wondered why to just fire one indisciplined market manager is near impossible and can even bring to a halt entire day operations at the Ministry of Local Government just to listen and attend the cries of one market manager out of about 50 in the City just to baby his or her ‘resistance to change’ in constitutional reporting lines changes at LCC.
According to the 2016 amended Constitutional of Zambian Article 154 (1), the Functions of a Mayor are;
DUTIES OF A MAYOR:
- (i) SUPERINTENDS OVER POLICY MAKING;
- (ii) ENSURES THE PREPARATION OF THE ANNUAL BUDGET AND IMPLEMENTATION PLAN;
- (iii) ENSURES THE PREPARATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STRATEGIC PLAN, AND COMMUNITY AND DISTRICT DEVELOPMENT PLANS;
- (iv) ENSURES THE DEVELOPMENT AND DESIGN OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES;
- (v) ENSURES THE DEVELOPMENTS AND IMPLEMENTATION OF ROBUST PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM;
- (vi) PROMOTES CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT AND PARTICIPATION;
- (vii) PRESIDES OVER COUNCIL MEETINGS AND CEREMONIAL FUNCTIONS.
FUNSO or KWESHON from me the underwriter:
- Under (ii), how can I IMPLEMENT realisation of finances for LCC if I can’t visit source of LCC funds like Factories, Restaurants and Barbershops?
- Under (v), how can I IMPLEMENT a ROBUST PEFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM if LCC MANAGEMNENT is told and believes that they don’t report to me? Apparently they report directly to the Local Government Ministry and the Local Government Commission.
- Under (vi), How can I ENGAGE and PARTICIPATE with CITIZENS if a former Minister of mine issued a circular last year to gag my office and the same circular re-issued this week?
So how will I interact with City residents under (iv) above if I can’t speak on behalf of LCC?
The wise (so they think) from the East have a saying; KUFUNSA SIKULAKWA.
Mayor of Lusaka,
Thursday 4th June 2020.