THE content of my manifesto on how I intend to transform the City of Lusaka is based on innovative and implementable ideas with successful strategies from successful city councils world-wide, says Lusaka mayoral candidate Elias Mpondela.
Mr Mpondela, an Independent, claims ‘‘and it is not an impossibility because we will surely attain it.’’
An economist by profession who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and business administration from the University of Zambia in 1984, Mr. Mpondela is not alien to public exposure as he has served the country in a number of portfolios both in public and private sectors.
Mr. Mpondela has held various positions in institutions such as the National Housing Authority (NHA), Mulungushi International Conference Centre (MICC), and the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC), among many others.
He is a member of the Commercial and Marketing Advisory Group of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) – a governing body of global athletics and is president of the Zambia Amateur Athletics Association (ZAAA), and more notable among sports followers, the man behind the formation of the annual Inter-Company Relay (ICR), the most popular and successful corporate health promoting event in the country.
So, what has motivated him to stand as a executive mayor of Lusaka on an Independent ticket?
Mr. Mpondela says he believes he is capable of solving the debacle that has befallen the City of Lusaka, more so that he is not politically inclined to any party.
He notes that political inclinations could lead to failure due to divided loyalty, hence his decision to go it alone in this year’s election so that if elected he would discharge his duties without political interference.
He says most of the problems facing the Lusaka City Council in providing service to the public was hampered, to a larger extent, by archaic and out-dated systems which over the years have proved to be a drawback to development and has pledged to provide the leadership required to correct the ills that have befallen the council.
He says his motivation to join politics is driven by his passion to transform the lives of Zambians by using his God-given passion for result-oriented work, talents and experience to improve lives.
“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 says.
He says he believes in setting up objectives which are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound and in his manifesto, he has outlined his transformation plan of the city within five years and insists the public should judge him at the end of the quinquennium based on what he will have attained in his position as mayor.
“My agenda is enthusiastic and achievable over the five-year period to change the face of Lusaka, and change the operations of the Lusaka City Council. There is much work to be done to overturn the archaic and out-dated systems of the council and shall introduce the much needed innovation and creativity, which will inspire all residents of Lusaka,” he says.
With a vision to ensure happiness and a decent life for all Lusaka residents through proactive and innovative stimulated development, improvement and modernisation of Lusaka while facilitating private sector growth, he says his desire is to leave a legacy of success for future generations.
He says he will ensure that the council is well managed through his strong and dynamic leadership, effective working teams, the enforcement of by-laws, and creation and enhancement of business opportunities through partnerships with the private sector and recognised institutions.
He says as city mayor, he will ensure good governance, change unworkable practices within the council systems, root out any cases of corruption to create more revenue through diversification from traditional methods and sources while creating new opportunities and change the urban and peri-urban landscape of Lusaka.
He says he will define the expansion of the city, introduce monetary and service accountability, and create projects which will enable youths to participate in making Lusaka more attractive to residents and visitors
He says his people-oriented strategic and council public health plan which will be in effect three months after assuming office will strive to meet immediate, short and long term objectives as outlined in his manifesto.
He says the city’s transformation requires a complete re-think by pushing the environmental agenda to the forefront by blending urban planning with environmental management, economic competitiveness and equity.
He believes until the country achieved successful rural development in Zambia, there was need to develop existing cities through the active driving force of city councils.
“My focus and our vision is to make the City of Lusaka a reputable, leading and shining example of a successful council. It is not impossible. We will do it.
‘‘Prudent council leadership and management; addressing corruption and short-cuts; plus infusing vibrancy into LCC will make Lusaka prosper.
‘‘Our vision is to ensure happiness and a decent life for all. Together we will transform Lusaka forever,’’ he says.