Lusaka Mayor Miles Sampa says the Lusaka City Council’s tendering committee is evaluating bids in order to pick a long term free wi-fi provider for the city.
And Sampa says 90 percent of the promises he made when he was elected into office have been achieved.
In an interview, Sampa said insisted that he never promised free WI-FI within 100 days of his election but that he said he would begin the process of introducing it.
“Most of them are 90 percent achieved and the beauty with modern politics is that in my case I came with a social contract during the campaigns where I listed things that I was going to do for the people of Lusaka and I signed and I printed and gave people the physical copies. But on the things written on my social contract, almost 90 percent of them are achieved and before we reached the 100 days as I promised, I think we are in the range of 80 days or so, I look forward to achieving 100 percent of all the things [that I promised] within 100 days. For instance, I promised that within 100 days, I will start the process of providing free WI-FI in Lusaka. [I said] ‘start’, the key word here is ‘start’ and look, I think within three weeks in office, we launched free WI-FI at the council. A company came up with a trial,” Sampa said.
“And beyond that, the tender committee of the council is evaluating bids to pick a long term WI-FI provider for Lusaka. So for me, the provisions of free WI-FI I have started. My opposers from the opposition who think that politics is about…have stood out to say ‘you promised that we will have free WI-FI in Lusaka in 100 days [but] where did they get that from? I promised to start. I promised to start removing heaps of garbage in Lusaka because there were mountains of garbage when I became mayor but by now, you should show me where there is garbage.”
He said among other promises that he had fulfilled was paying council retirees.
“Retirees, we have started the process of paying retirees [and] that has been achieved. I will tell you what’s outstanding, what is outstanding is town halls. I am yet to go to a community welfare or community hall and have a meeting with representatives in a particular constituency. We will do that and it’s in planning where Chilenje hall or Matero. We will representatives from teachers, health officials in the area. From religious leaders, sports leaders, marketeers, youths and businessmen, put them in that hall and as mayor sit and listen to them and tell them my plans for them,” he said.
Sampa said he welcomed factual criticism.
“But to have full performance and change Lusaka to make it to start looking green like a garden city, it’s a long process. I intend to make it different by the time I get to the end of my term in 2021. Most of them (promises), I would have achieved by then but beyond that, it’s a continuous process. I am happy to be criticized, that is why we asked for votes but the criticism has to be factual and it has to be real. It shouldn’t be imaginary and full of malice,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sampa said he had written to all the bill board owners in Lusaka to remove all the campaign materials on them since the campaign period is over.
“We wrote the letters as the council to all the bill board owners to remove the campaign materials and also for me as mayor. And I have seen most have removed [them] and there were some outstanding for instance [the one] for honourable [Margaret] Mwanakatwe at Woodlands roundabout and even her she said she has no control but that it should be removed. So we will follow up. There was one big billboard of Miles Sampa at Arcades Round about during the campaigns, I think it stood for a month after the campaign [but] if you drive there now it has been removed. There was even an advert for Central Province Expo. So the council has no capacity to remove each and every campaign material but hopefully with the rains, most of them will be washed out. So I am keen that they be removed because people are no longer in the campaign mood, people want to work,” said Sampa.