Lusaka Mayor Miles Sampa has explained that he decided to appoint Ngwerere ward 19 councillor Adrian Banda to act in his capacity because he was under the the impression that Deputy Mayor, Chilando Chitangala, would be away attending classes.
On Tuesday Sampa instructed Banda to act in his capacity, a move which Local Government Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga said was illegal, ordering that Chitangala should act in his capacity instead during the duration of his stay in the United States.
But in a letter addressed to Malupenga, Thursday, Sampa said there was precedence on appointing an acting mayor.
He explained that his intention was not aimed at questioning the capability or competency of the Deputy Mayor, but to ensure that other councillors gained experience and understanding of the Mayoral role.
“Please note that despite the precedent set by act by previous Mayors at Lusaka City Council like the late Wilson Kalumba (MHSRlP) and those before him, It has been brought to my attention that I cannot delegate roles in my office to a councillor be it for administrative purposes only. I was under the impression that the Deputy Mayor would not be at work because she had school class to attend but the substantive person to act when am not available at the office is Councillor Chilando Chitangala whom by copy I am advising; and instructing to act as Mayor until my return accordingly. I have always formally written to the Deputy Mayor to act in my previous absence from omce. My intention was not to slight or question the capability of our competent and able Deputy Mayor, but to ensure that other councillors gain experience and understanding of the Mayoral role,” wrote Sampa.
“This will ensure that in future there are more candidates with real experience which can only be a good thing for the people of Lusaka. I shall continue to endeavor to ensure that processes are followed and that in future, conscious of the heightened attention of my actions. that l communicate the reasoning behind these these where ever possible. As for you councillor Adrian Banda, my traditional cousin please continue doing what you do best and that is keeping Garden Township clean. To the permanent Secretary, I take note of your guidance and be assured of total compliance on the subject accordingly.”