Lusaka Province Minister, Mr Bowman Lusambo has brought us very interesting news. He says the Great Leader of this Great Country has issued a directive to the ruling party leadership and functionaries, ordering them to stop making false campaign promises.

This comes in the wake of the forthcoming mayoral by-election for the City of Lusaka in which the Patriotic Front is being challenged by Saboi Imboela of the National Democratic Congress, Kangwa Chileshe of the UPND and Mukubesa Mundia (Petersen) of the People’s Alliance for Change, among others.

These contestants have made several promises, ranging from ending corruption within the council, preventing cadres from land grabbing, controlling markets and bus stations, as well as reintroducing street vending. But the Patriotic Front, through Mr Lusambo feels these challengers are promising people what they cannot deliver. He says only the PF is promising things that are achievable.

“Today we have a President in State House. That President you are seeing is a man of his own words and he has told us ‘don’t promise something that you can’t do. Don’t tell people lies that you will do this when you can’t deliver. Tell them the things which you will do’. So we have a president who is able to challenge the status quo. The things that the people are complaining about to say ‘you promised this, you promised that’, the President is there to change all these things,” said Lusambo.

“So when we say that we are going to change the face of Lusaka in terms of water supply, we are going to do it. When we say we are going to change the sanitation situation in Lusaka, we are going to do it because the project is in place. We are doing the water and sanitation project under the millennium challenge. So my Mayor will come and show the people of Lusaka that the government of His Excellency, President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, is a listening government. This is what we are doing for the people of Lusaka.”

That Mayor that Mr Lusambo was referring to is the PF candidate Miles Sampa. But like the other contestants, he has also moved from radio to television making promises to the voters. What is he promising to deliver to the people?

“1. Within 100 days of being elected Mayor, I will enhance communication between the council and the residents of Lusaka. I will put up a call centre at the council with a toll free line for people to make their complaints. And as mayor, I will personally be reading everything that comes through that call centre.

2. Within 100 days I will ensure that in public places starting with the airports, the railway stations, the bus stations and elsewhere, we introduce free WiFi Internet.
3. In 100 days, I will look at decongestion of roads in Lusaka. I think we spend so much time and hours driving in the roads of Lusaka because of congestion. We will decongest the roads so that there is efficiency.

4. As mayor, within 100 days, I will ensure that all houses in Lusaka, all of them process title deeds. So all those who have houses that have no title deeds or proper paper work, we will start the process of title deeds.

5. Within 100 days, we will ensure that we draw up performance contracts for all councillors and management of the council. So as mayor, I will be personally doing contract appraisals.

6. Within 100 days I will introduce the Town Hall meetings every six months. Your mayor will be meeting your residents so that I can have a one-on-one discussion with the entrepreneurs, the business men and women, the media, the elderly people and the physically challenged people,” promised Sampa.

We don’t want to waste time looking at the feasibility of him installing free WiFi at Mtendere bus station and elsewhere, but we can deliver our point just from looking at the 6th promise. Even in a fairytale, logic makes it impossible to achieve this.

Mr Sampa is promising that in the first 100 days of office, he will ensure that every six months, he interacts with residents at town hall meetings. We are wondering how many six months are in 100 days for him to make such a promise. Our mayor is promising to implement a six months programme in 100 days and the Minister of Lusaka Province wants us to find a better liar among the candidates? No doubt, Mr Sampa is a straight winner in this lying contest.

In fact, when we hear Mr Lusambo announcing that President Lungu has stopped PF officials from making false promises, we are tempted to look at how the Head of State has faired in that regard. Quite frankly, we can see why Mr Sampa is promising to decongest Lusaka traffic in 100 days and set up a call center for two million residents, whose complaints he will personally be listening to.

We are sure that PF officials have been motivated by President Lungu to stop promising lies during campaigns because our Head of State doesn’t lie. He promised that he would never travel out of the country this year, and indeed today as we speak, it’s only his body which is in Turkey, his spirit is with us in Lusaka. What a great role model!!