LUSAKA mayor Mulenga Sata says he did not choose to be President Michael Sata’s son.
Reacting to complaints from fellow contenders in tomorrow’s Local Government Association of Zambia elections, that he is riding on President Sata’s position to contest the association’s presidency, Mulenga said his father had no influence on him politically.
“We don’t choose to be born who we are. These things just happen, it is an accident of birth. I did not ask to be born who I am. But what is incumbent upon me is to use what is available to me to the best of my ability. I think what I have done is try not to ride too much on the brand of the President,” he said.
“I think from the time I have been councillor, I have done my utmost to assert myself. The President casts a very big shadow. It is something that I can’t fight, it is what it is. You know some people are born to run fast, others are born playing great golf. For me, I was born a son of a politician.”
Mulenga said he has never been asked to join politics by his father but that it was something he took upon himself.
He said being a politician comes with its own challenges because everything he did weighed in respect that he was the President’s son.
Mulenga said people who had worked with him had seen the value of his leadership and that he had the democratic right to contest any position in the country.
He said had never been appointed to any position and all the positions he was currently holding were obtained through elections.
“In the two years that I have been in the council, people have worked with me and to see what value I have in my own right. I am not asking for a free ride in this election. I think to date, all the positions that I have vied for have been elected positions. I have not been appointed to any position. Even this position that I am vying for is an elected position and mind you the local government association is comprised of the 103 councils, which are not all PF councils. We have MMD and UPND. The position that I am vying for cuts across all party lines and all I am asking for is a validation from the family of local government practitioners,” he said.
And commenting on his earlier statement that he had a lot of commitments and would not going to contest the LGAZ presidency, Mulenga said he had not thought before issuing the statement.
He said he was not pushed by anyone to contest the LGAZ presidency because he had an independent mind to do things.
He also said there was a lot of inefficiencies in the local authorities and it was high time he took up the responsibilities of helping the councils to become self-sustaining and independent in aspects of development.
And Ndola mayor Samuel Muthali said he was ready to stand against Mulenga.
“I am not intimidated to stand against Mulenga Sata. It gives me more strength to stand with what you may say a big name. To me as a council, a mayor and a member of PF, I think we have equal chances. I equally qualify. I am not intimidated at all. It is actually a good race,” he said.
He said he had a lot of support from other councils in the country and that he did not travel all the way to Solwezi to go and lose an election.
Meanwhile, current president Daniel Chisenga said he was re-contesting the position because he felt he still needed to help councillors.
Chisenga also said he was disappointed that some candidates have gone with thugs to intimidate other participants.