UPND Mayoral Candidate Pastor Kangwa Chileshe says Lusaka City doesn’t need a person who has worked as mayor for 100 years or with government experience, but one with a vision, leadership qualities and capable of speaking for the people.

And Chileshe says his candidature for the mayoral election represents change because he was consistent with what he stands for in life.

Meanwhile Chileshe says if elected mayor, he would ensure economic empowerment through the creation of jobs, business opportunities as well as equal distribution of wealth.

Speaking when he featured on UNZA radio’s ‘Lusaka Stars’ program, Monday, Chileshe bragged that it was through hard work that he found himself excelling at everything he did.

“I have grown through the ranks and its been on merit. If you place me somewhere, I will give it my all. I will push, I will do what needs to be done. And its through that hard work that I find myself excelling in various endevours that I do. Whether you put me in politics, I will grow because of my personal leadership potential and ability. Whether you put me in the church [and] whether you put me in acting. I started off as an actor before I knew it, I became one of the most renowned actors in this country. And so I have learnt to excel at everything I have put my hand to. The bible says ‘whatever your hands finds to do, do it with all your mighty, do it with the best of your ability’,” he said.

Asked how he intended to work as a politician when he was a pastor, and given that politics was branded as a dirty game, Chileshe gave an example of a bible verse saying God appointed David to be a leader because he was faithful in taking care of his sheep.

“So when you talk about politics and church, the concept is the same. The bible talks about David, where God tells David that ‘because you have been faithful in taking care of my sheep, I will make you a leader of my people’. I have been a church leader and I have done things away from the church that involve leadership. Yes there will be people whose theology tells them that Christians and believers must not participate in the political affairs of their country, but that’s not biblical because the bible says that ‘when the righteous are in authority, the city rejoices’. God is involved in governance and it will be very unwise of us to extract or remove God from the governance of our country after all we have stated in our Constitution that we are a Christian nation that is tolerant towards other faith,” he said.

“I am standing on the UPND ticket which is the largest opposition political party and arguably one of the largest political parties in this country as we speak. So that in itself should tell you a lot. The fact that I’m standing on the UPND ticket is very significant. I’m youthful so I represent the youth demographic. Not only am I youthful, I represent progressiveness. Zambians who want to be progressive, Zambians who want to bring change to what they see, Zambians who are saying ‘corruption should not become normal’, the normal should not be abnormal and the abnormal should not become normal. Because right now its become abnormal to do the right thing.”

Chileshe said that he was glad he had never been part of the rot and corruption in government today.

He however said Lusaka city didn’t need a person who had worked as mayor for so mnay years, but someone with vision and leadership skills.

“This election is very important because its a game changer, its a voice from the Zambian people to the powers that be, to the PF to say ‘we are tired’, its a voice to say ‘we need things to be right’, ‘lets deal with corruption’. Some people are saying ‘Kangwa Chileshe has never been in government before’ ‘Kangwa Chileshe has never been a mayor before, he has never been a chancellor so he is inexperienced’. Let me say this, the fact that I have never been in government and never been a mayor is a good thing. I’m glad first of all that I have never been part of some of the rot, inconsistencies, corruption that is prevalent today, but I have been a leader in my life,” he said.

“So Lusaka doesn’t need another person who was mayor for 100 years, Lusaka needs leadership, it needs vision, it needs someone who will do the right thing. To be a voice for the people. So that’s what I bring.”

He said his candidature represented change as he was consistent with what he did in his life.

“My candidature represents change. Thats what makes me different. If someone is looking for someone who wants cholera to continue, cadres to continue politicising our markets and bus station, if that’s the type of person you want, who will perpetuate a lot of atrocities, the evils, if that’s the candidate you are looking for then I’m not your candidate. But if you want a candidate who will bring change, who is consistent with what they do in their life, my life is one of consistency and consistency is a cardinal ingredient when it comes to leadership. Those are the bench marks that you must use to judge my candidature,” he said.

Chileshe further outlined what he would do if elected as mayor of Lusaka.

“What Kangwa Chileshe, if elected mayor by the people of Lusaka City will do; he will bring economic empowerment through creation of employment using the city council itself and using other agents of the city council. Entrepreneurship; creating opportunities or an environment in which business can be conducted in Lusaka. Equity; equal distribution of wealth, equal distribution of economic opportunities,” said said Chileshe.

“Markets and bus stations are supposed to be for business, they are not supposed to be for politics. So the cardinal things that I will do is to take out the politics from the markets, where marketeers are not supposed to be paying levies and paying cadres at the same time. You can not be collecting levies from a marketeer everyday, they need to be given some room. They can have a monthly charge where they pay something on a monthly basis but not on a daily basis. My leadership will be one for prevention and not necessarily cure.”