In his quest to keep opposing whatever His Worship the Mayor of Lusaka Miles B. Sampa tries to do to achieve results at LCC, the Minister of Local Government Honourable Charles Banda has ordered that the decision made by the Councillors in its full Council meeting last month to NOT renew the Contract of the City Market Manager Matafwali, should be reversed.
The Council both in its Human Resources sub committee of 6 Councillors and the Full Council committee of 33 Councillors plus the Mayor ratified the recommendation of the HR Committee Not to renew the contract.
No reason has to be given as to why almost all Councillors unanimously chose not to renew the contract. They have the powers to as enshrined in the Constitution.
The Council instructed the Town Clerk and Management to pay Matafwali his full gratuity and also pay him his last month July salary so he leaves immediately to allow the new manager Mrs Minyoi appointed by the Councillor to take over immediately. She has already been given the job offer letter.
When a decision is made by the Full Council to not renew a contract and or hire a new manager as in this case, according to Council standing orders that decision cannot be reversed until 6 months lapses. In rarely circumstances the Ministers of Local Government can opt to Abuse his Constitutional powers and order the Council to reverse its binafude Proposed and duly Seconded Decision.
The Minister claims he has a petition from City Market workers that want Matafwali to stay yet those petitioners were only 30 and ones identifie
d as relatives of Matafwali that he hired in his rampant nepotism at the over staffed market. It was strange that the Minister in what should be a very busy schedule for him during this Covid 19 and Bill 10 era had time to give red carpet to the so called group of Matafwali hired few petitioners, listen to them, drink tea with them before receiving their petition.
It is unprecedented in the history of Lusaka if not Zambia for a Local Government Minister to get involved in matters of a simple Market Manager among 150 or 3000 Council markets managers in the City of Lusaka and Country respectively. What is his personal interest? Just to oppose the Lusaka Mayor and elected Councillors or there is some personal liking or affiliation he had with this Matafwali?
From the Minister’s office there about 15 layers of seniority and one wonders why the Minister has so much man hours for just one junior staff of LCC.
We gather other over 200 workers of City market are also next week taking a counter petition to the LG Minister office demanding that they do not want Matafwali at City market as Manager because of his nepotism and he should not be imposed on the majority workers.
This is the Minister who watched entire week quietly recently while Mayor Sampa cramped down on the Chinese barbershops. Restaurants and those holding Zambian workers hostage in factories only to reprimand him in public many days later. The question is if he was a well meaning Boss to the Mayor why did he just not call the Mayor and oder him to immediately stop his open day and night operations operations that were in newspapers and public domain for many days? No, he waited and kept watching for days if not weeks so us to have enough ammunition to embarrass the Mayor via a press conference of punishment threats like those of a school Headmaster in UNIP days.
Even this order to not fire Matafwali is unheard of from any former Local Government Ministers because they are busy with policy issues like how to construct Housing for the City residents given the hudeg shortfall and how to formulate SI laws to ensure chicken selling and restaurants trading licenses are not given to the Chinese and other foreigners. He has no time for such but to fiddles into markets and bus stop issues by mirco managing them by ordering Councillors to give up their electable rights to make decisions as they deem fit for the good of the Council and follow his personal decree and agenda.
Atleast former LG Minister Vincent Mwale issued the SI banning street vending and posterity will respect him for that. Minister Banda mea time has issued zero SI despite being in office for over a year now and when there is the hot issues of foreigners doing business that should be reserved for indigenous Zambians as per guidance from the SG.
Hon Banda is one but among many Ministers that are making the name of the President and the PF party look bad in the eyes of the majority Zambians. We love our President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and we want him beyond 2021 but such Ministers need to rest before they continue putting his name in disrepute with the voters especially of Lusaka City whose vote is the most vital in the 2021 elections. Lusaka politics is not the same as Kapoche politics where he may even lose as MP if PF makes a mistake to re-adopt him to stand as MP in 2021.
By: Andrew Phiri/ Zambia