On Monday, 20th February 2022, a Special Council Meeting was called to deliberate on a motion bordering on misconduct brought up against my office and Kambule Ward councillor Jimmy Kaumba.
The petition was signed by 15 councillors, but a number of them rescinded their decision during the preliminary stage of the motion, and before the meeting, which I duly chaired as Mayor. Among those who signed the petition was the deputy mayor, Cllr Suzyo Ng’uni.
As per the requirement of the law, I declared interest at the stage when it was time to debate the motion, but since my deputy was also among those who had petitioned me, I requested that he should also not chair the proceedings for he had an interest. This was agreed to by the Council, and I left the chamber.
However, I later came to learn from a press statement signed by Mongu town clerk, Mr Oliver Muuka that after ‘protracted’ debate and without a vote, I had been suspended as Mongu Mayor for a period of six months for misconduct and other issues I would not want to belabour. My two fellow councillors, Mr Kaumba and Mr Mwangala, I was told had also been suspended from the Council. Strangely, Mr Muuka in his press statement forgot to mention that. I leave it at that.
Clearly, my six-month suspension as Mongu Mayor is unjust, it goes against the rules of natural justice, it is a situation where people resort to use the law to settle political scores, it is inspired by hatred, spite and malice directed at my person and at those who are seen to align with me politically. In short, my suspension is politically-engineered.
But for the love of our party, UPND, unjust as the decision by a few known individuals to suspend me as Mongu Mayor for a maximum period of six months maybe; painful as it maybe to the people of Mongu, who, despite my human flaws, I have served with a spirit of transparency and accountability; hate-inspired as this decision maybe, I will not drag our UPND government to court over this.
I will serve my six-month suspension as Mongu Mayor honourably. We forgive and forget, for vengeance is for God.
Business was disrupted on my account in Mongu yesterday. Journalists were also not spared from harassment by our cadres. Not in my name.
On second thoughts, even if I have every right to escalate this to the courts of law, I wouldn’t want to be used as an excuse by those who are not shy of playing dirty politics, to continue stifling people’s rights and freedoms. I would rather carry this burden alone. As I am writing this press statement, I just came from the police station after receiving a call out yesterday. I want to thank the police command for Western division for tolerance and professionalism exbited. I received valuable counsel from our men in uniform.
During this six-month suspension, I will lay low but continue all the developmental initiatives among them the market revolving fund, nurses scholarships, we embarked upon from the time I was voted as Mongu Mayor. Those activities, it should be noted, have not been suspended. We will continue to honour our pledges and follow them through to their logical conclusion, in line with the very clear UPND Manifesto and the Eighth National Development Plan.
Ours is for the development of Mongu, and if politics stands in the way of achieving those objectives in certain spaces, we will step aside and pursue those development objectives through other legal means.
A bad precedence has been created and will lie in it as local government leaders in Zambia!..
For now, I remain,
Your Chief Servant