You see dear readers; there are just some things in life which require a certain level of madness in order to get done. There are a few societal problems which a normal person can’t address. Normal people are always afraid of being embarrassed, they are often too cautious with what they do in public to avoid attracting a negative perception or ruining their reputation. So they just walk away.
But that is not the case with a crazy person. A bonkers fellow will use that craziness to address the matter without worrying about their public image. The rest of society will quietly be happy that the problem has been sorted, while publicly throwing aspersions at the goon who did the dirty work.
Our opinion on the conduct of Lusaka Mayor Miles Sampa at Roan and Sable, where he went to eat lunch and refused to pay on account of bad service, is a little different from what almost everyone has observed. We have seen the public outrage that this scandal has caused, but we are concerned that there is one aspect of this story which is being ignored.
Everyone is talking about the craziness of the Lusaka Mayor. People are mocking him and alleging that his insanity is slowly getting beyond redemption. But no one seems to be looking at the societal benefits of the Mayor’s ‘madness’.
We agree with those who are supporting the Mayor’s protest but condemning his methods. In fact, when we interviewed him after the incident, we made it clear to him that he was wrong to eat an expensive meal served under ‘poor service’ then later refuse to pay. We told him that despite being Mayor, he had no legal right to do as he pleased against someone’s business.
The right thing for him to do was to report such a bad service to the relevant authority and let the law enforcers investigate and deal with the problem, other than taking the law into his own hands as an interested party. Even a Republican President; despite all his powers, there is no way he can order that a hotel he slept in be shut down because a bedbug bit him. There are procedures he is expected to follow.
So without getting things twisted, the Mayor was wrong. He acted emotionally and in the processes abused his authority, for which he can easily be sued. But we are here to talk about the benefits of this Mayor’s madness. Roan and Sable Restaurant will never be the same again; they now have a point to prove because they have been in the news for the wrong reasons.
The ripple effect of the Mayor’s craziness is already showing across the country. People are posting images from various restaurant and takeaway joints, joking that they would not pay for a bad service. We are very sure that this incident will make restaurant operators sit up. They shouldn’t worry about the Mayor eating their free food, but they must worry about being singled out as a restaurant with pathetic service.
Let’s face it; Lusaka has plenty of restaurants which actually deserve to be shut down. You are lucky if they just delay to bring you a takeaway pack in which to carry your leftovers, as the case was with the Mayor. Sometimes they literally serve you bad food and demand that you pay, whether you eat it or not. Other restaurants are simply racist and discriminatory on face value. If you go to such a restaurant dressed like drab, you will not get the same service as a person who walks in dangling Range Rover keys. Individual waiters and waitresses feel they are likely to get a considerable tip from the baller and they will give him preferential treatment.
This is what the Mayor’s madness is trying to fix. A normal person will be concerned that refusing to pay because of bad service at a restaurant may be interpreted as simply failing to settle a bill. But the Mayor has done it, and thousands will benefit from this crazy son of a gun.
That said, we now need another crazy fellow with the right measure of madness to give the Mayor’s council a challenge. There are plenty of rotten services that the Lusaka City Council is providing to the population and no one has stood up to challenge it. Everyone has been too normal and tolerating the nonsense.
What single public service can the Mayor point at and say the council is efficient in this area? His own promise of providing free WiFi to the residents has failed. Even the Civic Center itself doesn’t have free Internet for guests. So we need a crazy person to cause a serious scene at the council or any other government department. It seems this government functions better when a little madness is involved.
We are reminded of a common joke among journalists. The joke suggests that one reporter asked Poor People’s party president if it was true that he was a mad man. And his answer was; “how can I be normal when everything in the country is mad?”
Similarly, we are constrained from questioning the Mayor’s insanity, because how can he be normal in a political party where everyone is mad?