In this audio, Radio Phoenix ‘Let the people talk’ host Luchi angers Lusaka Mayor Wilson Kalumba when he grills him on the logic behind setting up a radio station for the council.
Kalumba accused Luchi of trying to market Radio Phoenix by discrediting his idea.
When Luchi asked whether there was a cost effective way of disseminating information, Kalumba said the council was big and they wanted their own radio station.
“Isn’t there a more cost effective way of doing this? If I say to you that ‘mayor I’m willing to give you 10 minutes every single Wednesday morning’, does that sort out your problem?” Luchi asked.
Kalumba said they wanted to communicate frequently with their listeners on their own channel.
“No! We are a big organisation, we want to have our own station. We are still working out, we will come back with the details. We just agreed that we need to communicate more frequently with our viewers, our listeners and residents. People must know every time that on this channel we only get such information. That doesn’t mean that we can’t use other stations to broadcast the same information. But we want to have a channel,” Kalumba said.
And when Luchi said that he and the people of Lusaka wanted to save money for the mayor, Kalumba accused him of marketing Radio Phoenix.
“Lets not do marketing by your company. Lets move to the next question. What makes you [think] that your cost will be lower than our costs? We are still working out. Once we have the information, meaning we can now move into actual implementation,” Kalumba said.
And Kalumba was more angered after he was asked whether he didn’t believe in a cost effective way, saying the money for the radio station would not come from people’s pockets because they don’t pay the council.
“Its like you are saying you can run things better than me… Yes that is what you are implying! People don’t pay so lets move to the next question,” he said.
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And Kalumba said he wanted to leave a good legacy by introducing projects in the city.
“We are going to bring street lights every where. We have arranged financing that will allow us to pay over a long period of may be 10 years. Lets just believe that things are not like in the past otherwise I could have just come, sat as a mayor and gone without introducing anything. But I want to live a good legacy. I want when I leave the office, there are street lights public transportation, there are markets in every constituency,” he said.
“For your own information its only in Lusaka that there will be a temperature controlled market. We have already identified a developer to put up a fresh produce market where farmers bring things and they are temperature controlled and preserved. So for these projects, the construction period can be two years but we have to start somewhere. We are not here to make quick fixes. My priority is to ensure that we have these projects start to run after three years or two years we have all these structures we are talking about. When you are looking for quick results they wont come.”
Kalumba further said he was not dreaming when he talked about the plans he had for the city.
“Let me tell you that I’m one of the few mayors in this country that will show you their campaign promises written on a piece of paper. If you had a chance to look at my campaign material I talked about these things. When you look at that document you will find that everything I’m doing is according to that because these are the promises I made to people. Its not that I started making plans when I came into office. I went to the people with these campaign promises. I will introduce public transport system. I will deal with garbage in this manner, so that document is there and its on my website. So I’m not just dreaming these things. There is a plan to it,” he said.
Kalumba urged the public to engage their area councillors instead of always waiting for action from the mayor.
“Let me just mention generally that people need to work with their councillors. They shouldn’t wait for the mayor to come on radio to bring these complaints. Every councillor has an office, take your grievances there. That’s the job of having somebody represent you at the council. Don’t wait for the mayor to visit that area. If the councillor is aware he brings these issues to my office,” said Kalumba.