By Miles B. Sampa, MP
Around 2019 in my meeting with Mr James Ndambo as Mayor, one of his dream was to establish a huge modern cold room in Lusaka to anchor perishable goods from Namibia to the huge Congo DR market. Before I joined the Council, my predecessor Mayor Wilson Kalumba (MHSRIEP) had actually travelled with one other Councillor to Walvis Bay in Namibia to see Mr Ndambo’s modern commercial cold room facility at the Atlantic Ocean shores that he was to replica in Lusaka.
The Lusaka projects that would have by now employed around 5000 Zambians did not take off because we at the Council got blocked by the Central Government from implementing because Mr Ndambo was suspected to have been UPND linked. “ Miles is using the mayoral office to promote companies owned by people that sponsor HH” the usual gossiped into Statehouse.
I was therefore made to believe Mr Ndambo must have been one of the main financiers of the UPND victory last year. I know with certainty that he had never been to the PF-occupied Statehouse and therefore I assumed he must have been visiting the Community House instead. As it turns out, however, he may have not been there either. He is simply apolitical (non-politically aligned businessman).
When I saw police attention and protection upon his arrival in Livingstone last month, I thought President HH was honouring back one of the sons of the soil. I may have been very wrong actually. It now seems just like with the past regime, he may not be a darling of the current systems and establishments.
It is very true that DEC has seized his vehicles and yes including those won by the ‘ My Home Town’ models. They are suspected to have been bought from ‘proceeds of crime’. Lol.
I gather after the Choma gymnastics from Minister Cornelius Mweetwa and the apology therein, Mr Ndambo opted to cut his planned extended trip to Lusaka. He rode back to Livingstone in one of his donated Marco-polo buses, summoned his private jet from abroad and took off.
It will be interesting to hear the exact official charges from DEC on Mr Ndambo or his companies.
As for my ‘relatives’ the twerking nurses from Chilonga in Mpika, this is how their pronounced USA scholarship may be hard to access from Mr Ndambo whose return date to Zambia may not be certain. The ‘My Home Town’ models on the other hand may consider going directly to the DEC offices to claim their prize motor vehicles that have been brought to Lusaka to register them in their names.
To the youths that were hoping to rub shoulders with Mr Ndambo in person, they may need to wait a bit longer for his return as he continues to make money away from Zambia.
I think this is rather some sad deflating story to most that were hoping to access empowerment from Mr Ndambo. We seem to loathe any of our own that has the potential to make other Zambians rich. History keeps repeating itself from UNIP, MMD, PF and now to the UPND era.
Meantime USA has Elon Musk, Nigeria has Aliko Dangote, SA has Patrice Mosepe, Malawi may have Bushiri but in Zambia, we still have non as is given Mr Ndambo has been ‘forced’ to declare himself Congolese.