Newly installed Lusaka Mayor Miles Sampa says he intends to run the council like a business enterprise in order to turn the city into an economic hub.
In his installation speech, Friday, Sampa called for concerted efforts from all stakeholders in order to make this dream a reality.
“I am alive to the fact that the council has made tremendous strides under the PF government in the last seven years, despite Lusaka having continued to experience developmental challenges, most of which are now familiar to us. Among some of the challenges that have frustrated the efforts of the council to effectively carry out its functions and provide quality municipal services to the residents include; rapid population growth, solid waste management, high poverty levels, unemployment, urbanisation, HIV/AIDS, inadequate basic infrastructure such as housing, poor sanitation and traffic congestion; to mention, but a few,” Sampa said.
“Arising from the challenges mentioned earlier, I want to assure you that with my humble background in economics and business administration, I intend to contribute positively to enhancing development in our city by building on from where my predecessors left from.
Among some of the areas to build up on are the need to transform Lusaka into an economic hub; but to achieve this, I will need the concerted effort of all stakeholders who include the government, private sector and the general citizenry, regardless of their political affiliation. I wish to propose to run the council like a business enterprise in the promotion of public-private partnerships, while providing social services.”
He reiterated that he would introduce monthly meetings with all Lusaka members of parliament to brainstorm on how to improve the city.
“As I highlighted in my campaign manifesto, I intend to introduce monthly meetings with all Lusaka members of parliament for us to share views on how best to develop our city; I plan to introduce a system for councillors’ periodic reporting to my office for us to be moving at the same pace and to accelerate the decentralization programme by establishing mini-civic centres or township councils in all the seven constituencies in line with the PF manifesto. This will save residents’ time and money from trekking long distances to come to civic centre when they can access these services from within their vicinities. By so doing, we will also be helping in job creation for our women, men and youths who will be employed from their localities. It will also assist in the stimulation of existing businesses and decongesting the central business district as residents will be able to trade from markets, shopping malls and other transactions from their localities, thereby attracting inward investment in the communities,” said Sampa.
“They say: “cleanliness is next to godliness”; and as a Christian nation, while accommodating other religions, I promise to ensure that we campaign towards a clean, green and healthy city in our quest to make Zambia and indeed our city clean. May I stress that we need to take care of our surroundings by changing our mind-set about the way we dispose of our waste and generally take care of our environment. The issue regarding garbage collection and general cleanliness of premises and community surroundings still remains a serious problem which has resulted in the city experiencing perennial diseases such as cholera. Following the recent outbreak of cholera in our city, His Excellency, the Republican President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu re-launched the make Zambia clean, green and healthy campaign in April – an activity which requires us as residents to get committed and join in the monthly clean-up exercise. I pledge to support this cause by taking the lead in encouraging our residents to follow that directive.”