Lusaka Mayor Miles Sampa yesterday narrated how PF youths who campaigned for him ambushed and abducted him on his way from inspecting illegal structures in Matero township.
And Sampa who posted pictures of himself brandished a pistol on his Facebook page following the attack, vowed to shoot and kill the “thugs” next time, describing them as hired chaps sent to disrupt his work.
Narrating the ordeal to News Diggers Tuesday, Sampa suspected one of the former councillors in the constituency as the one who sponsored the thugs.
“Yes indeed there was what I can say a kidnap or holding me hostage for close to one hour by thugs who were about 20 or so. What transpired is that on Friday I received a complaint, some marketeers, some women from Matero came to my office complaining that they had been moved from where they were selling their merchandise in particular charcoal. So I went for a fact finding mission because it’s my duty to respond when there are such cries from people who claim they have been displaced,” Sampa narrated.
He said after ordering a stop to the construction works at the site in questions, a group of about 20 thugs started trailing him on his way back to the office.
“When I got there, I found indeed somebody was constructing something and next to it there was another construction going on. So I told them to stop and come to my office with documentation indicating who gave them authority to construct [because] the council needs to give permission for anyone to construct. And that is how I left that place. Now on my way back I used the back route, little did I know that I was being trailed by these youths who were in a bus and then when I noticed that I was being trailed, I turned into Tobacco board and then they followed me and then 20 thugs came out drunk and threatened violence on me, pushing me and said ‘we’ll kill you, we voted for you [and] what you are doing now is unacceptable.’ And they were getting more and more vicious and picking up tones. Of course then they were using force violence and threats and they were claiming that they were representing those who had interest in that land that I went to inspect. And I believe those are the ones who funded them to hire a bus and to come after me and to intimidate me,” he stated.
“There is a former councillor and he is a suspect and there is some other individuals and I know them and I’ve made a report to the police station and they are investigating. So I sneaked inside the office of the owner of that building, inside his private office and he locked me inside there, but they were hovering around that office in the corridors still screaming. And they picked up stones and waiting for me to come out and even threatening to smash the official vehicle or smash me if I come out. So while inside there that is how I called the minister of Home Affairs and told him I was under siege, and it was about an hour later or 40 minutes later that the police came with guns to rescue me from them.”
And Sampa said he will start boxing as a career while keeping his gun close-by to defend himself next time.
“In the morning, I realised that they could have killed me over nothing, I am only trying to do my job. What I am saying is that I will do my job without fear of favour and I will stick to the police protection but if it is not forth coming, I will protect myself. I am even going to join the gym now and start lifting weights and I will start boxing as a career,” said Sampa.
“I have bought a gun, it’s not the only one I have other guns as well for my protection when my life is in danger. I was traumatised yesterday and throughout the night but today I picked up the courage. [I suspect] former councillor Lee Mukupa, the councillor that I made and the councillor that I personally helped to become councillor. Indeed it is those that you help that will come to stab you. It’s him. When he was councillor he allocated himself over 20 plots in there to himself or his associates. Everyone in Matero knows that. So to defend himself that is what he is doing. I was just asking him to bring documentation.”
And Speaking to BBC earlier Sampa said he deleted his pictures of gun toting after senior party official prevailed on him.
He said he disregarded advice not to post such pictures on the Internet but he insisted and went ahead because he wanted to send a message to his assailants that next time he would shoot them down.