Lusaka Mayor Miles Sampa says it is regrettable that, as executive Mayors, he does not have powers to hire or fire erring councillors under his administration.
This came to light when Sampa, castigated councillor Chipulu, who allegedly made a unilateral decision and embarked on an operation to demolish makeshift stores within the city.
Sampa said councillors like Chipulu’s deserved to be fired by the Mayor.
“Ba Chipulu goes on operations demolishing tu Temba without notifying the office of the Mayor and also he goes on the streets and his people have been reported to be confiscating goods and harassing vendors. We know it’s legal but we have asked them to act humane. But this man doesn’t listen, so the Chilenje operation, am asking why didn’t he tell my office? Ba Chipulu elo bali na lucky pantu nshakwata ama powers (Chipulu is even lucky that I do not have any powers over him), I have no powers to hire and fire. Ba Chipulu I would have fired you today if I had powers because you are embarrassing my office,” said Sampa.
“The area MP has said he didn’t know, the councillor of Chilenje says he wasn’t consulted, Executive cadres were not aware. So you are just doing what you want. But ukutukana teimwe baletukana (it’s not you who gets insulted by affected people ), they are insulting me. Ba Chipulu, who was elected between you and me? Who gets insulted between me and you? So why do you do things things that get me insulted? You, you are at peace, my voters are not at peace… the residents of Lusaka are not happy, they are insulting me and me also am not happy I don’t want to be insulted. So am naming you as the one who doesn’t get my instruction imwe ba Chipulu and that’s why we are fighting that Mayors should have powers so that imwe ba Chipulu nga twamituma ku mushi eko mwafuma mukaye chita efyo mulefwaya (so that we can send you to the village where you come from so that you can go and do whatever you want.”
On Tuesday night, council police conducted an operation that left several makeshift shops destroyed, some with merchandise. This caused a public uproar in Lusaka as some residents took to social media to register their displeasure of the councils unannounced actions.