By Nation Reporter
LUSAKA has sunk into degradation and squalor; an unsightly city riddled with life-threatening diseases arising from the lack of proper council services, sanitation and planning, Lusaka independent mayoral aspirant Elias Mpondela has said.
He said it was time to introduce a stimulation plan which would put a complete end to the mess and the suffering of residents
Speaking to the Daily Nation yesterday, Mr. Mpondela pledged to transform Lusaka into a Cosmopolitan city which welcomed all people and tapped into their expertise and investments to transform the city.
He said the city faced a lot of challenges which needed immediate attention such as sprawling slums and unsightly buildings due to poor planning and standards while by-laws were not enforced or were enforced sporadically as the council police were allegedly ineffective.
Mr Mpondela observed that the council, which was the city’s biggest employer, had largely failed to operate as a viable business as it had failed to make Lusaka a clean, green and landscaped city in spite of the existence of council nurseries.
He noted that the council had failed to provide social amenities to members of the public as it had failed to manage sports and recreational facilities, provide entertainment events, and provide library facilities to the communities.
Mr Mpondela said the current selection and funding of community development projects as witnessed in the 2015 allocation was mediocre but that things would change if people voted for him.
“We shall learn from these failures but shall not focus on them. Rather, we shall focus on implementing our strategic plan. A successful city council should not experience the same erratic responses to crises year in and year out. Under my leadership, Lusaka city will be transformed because the operations of Lusaka City Council will change.
“No one can dispute the fact that the Lusaka City Council needs change. Whether this change comes about through adjusting the legislative framework, or streamlining responsibilities and operations, it has to happen in order to pave the way for progress using policy instruments with a disciplined approach,” Mr. Mpondela said.
He said all departments will be assessed, to allow for modernisation, productivity, income generation and efficiency, so that the citizenry could enjoy the exit of red-tape and an entry of solutions that met their needs.
“Because I understand how a city should be run, I will excel in service delivery as Mayor of Lusaka. Our team has already embarked on studying in detail the legislature governing the councils in order to propose amendments and improvements,” Mr Mpondela said.
He said under his leadership as mayor, the city council would ensure good governance and change unworkable practices within the system while endeavouring to root out any cases of corruption in the council.
Mr Mpondela said the creation of more revenue for the council through diversification from traditional methods and sources and the creation of new opportunities aimed at changing the urban and peri-urban landscape of Lusaka would be among top items on his agenda.
He said he had decided to stand for the mayoral position on an independent ticket to free himself from divisive partisan controls that imprisoned creativity and innovation, leading to narrow outlook and failure.