Lusaka Mayor Miles Sampa has withdrawn his claim that he was kidnapped on Monday, and now says it was rather a case of threatening violence.
And Sampa has announced that he will shut down his Facebook and Twitter accounts as all communication will be made via official Lusaka City Council channels.
In a statement issued, Tuesday, Sampa stated after reflecting on the matter, it had come to his realization that his statement was out of context and made in haste.
On Tuesday, Sampa posed with a gun and posted the pictures on his Facebook page saying he had armed himself for work after being kidnapped by PF thugs the previous day.
He told various media houses, including BBC World News, that he was kidnapped by a group of 20 thugs after a tour of duty in Matero where he had ordered a stop to construction works on a suspected illegal plot.
But Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo issued a statement, Wednesday, rubbishing Sampa’s claims saying Lusaka was a very peaceful city, further distancing Lusaka youths from such ill vices.
“I have been alerted to a news story doing rounds on international media platforms regarding a statement issued by His Worship the Mayor of Lusaka Councillor Miles Sampa to the effect that he was kidnapped by some known elements while undertaking his official duties in the City. As Lusaka Province Minister, I feel duty bound to set the record straight and allay any fears that Lusaka might be unsafe for residents and visitors unlike. I wish to state that our beautiful City remains peaceful as ever and our law enforcement agencies have continued conducting their normal duties. There is and there has never been any cause for alarm. There is no case of kidnapping filed by anyone at any police station in Lusaka or anywhere else across the country,” Lusambo stated.
He stated that leaders had a moral duty to portray that which did not betray the collective trust and faith of voters.
“The country that His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu is governing is peaceful, stable and everyone can freely move across this beautiful country. As a capital city, we mirror the entire aspirations of the nation and it is important that the international community continues to view Lusaka as a haven of peace as it has always been known. For us in leadership, we have a moral duty to portray exemplary traits that do not betray the collective trust and faith that our people have placed in us,” Lusambo added.
Lusambo he distanced the people of Lusaka from Sampa’s narrative.
“Our resolve is to keep attracting local and international investors to Lusaka in our unwavering pursuit for job creation and prosperity for all. It is, therefore, important that I forthwith distance the good people of this great city of Lusaka from the narrative that could be created with this episode,” stated Lusambo.
And in a remarkable turn of events, Sampa stated that after reflection, he realized that he had not been accurate in the manner he narrated his ordeal.
“It has come to my attention that the incident I encountered on Monday does not amount to kidnapping, but threatening violence. As I felt my life was in danger and out of consequent trauma, my immediate reaction may have been out of context. I, therefore, wish to apologise unreservedly to all that I may have offended consequently. I regret and sorry to all that had reservations on my response out of the ordeal. It was poor judgement on my part and I take full responsibility. I have just come out of a meeting with one of my spiritual mentors, Fr Charles Chilinda, and will keep seeking wisdom, guidance and counselling from all my seniors. These include His Excellency the President Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu; the Vice-President Her Honour Inonge Mutukwa Wina; the SG Mr Davies Mwila; the PF Chairman Mr Samuel Mukupa; MCCs and ministers, among others. The office I hold on behalf of the people of Lusaka demands highest degree levels of integrity and decorum both in speech and actions. This I will keep aspiring to achieve on a daily basis,” Sampa stated.
He also apologized to all his offenders unconditionally and further withdrew his complaint, further stating that going forward, he would carry out his duties in the interest of everyone, including Lusaka youths.
“As to my young brothers that attacked me, I hereby forgive them unconditionally and look forward to enjoying brotherhood and love with them. I, therefore, withdraw my formal complaint I lodged on them yesterday. I am keen to work for a win-win for all stakeholders in the City and these are the President, the government, the party, the council, all the people of Lusaka and in this context the youths and their aspirations,” Sampa added.
And Sampa further stated that he will shut down his Facebook page and Twitter account as all communication would be done via official channels.
“I remain open to advice and counselling for the good of all the people of the city. In line with good order and decorum of the Office of Mayor, I will be shutting my personal social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter. All my communications will be via the Lusaka City Council official channels,” stated Sampa.