Torn Apart: BOYD PHIRI
LUSAKA City Mayor Miles Sampa may have once refused to pay the K700 bill for the food he ate at a restaurant last year, but he is not a big eater.
Going by his directive to the council to stop providing refreshments during management meetings chaired by him, one can tell that the city father is losing appetite for food.
I hope this has nothing to do with Chinese food from restaurants scattered all over town because the mayor can’t recognise what is chicken and what is not on their exotic menu.
Anyway, the mayor has the right to narrow down his choice of what to eat and where to eat from, especially after being subjected to social media jibe when he refused to pay for a meal at a restaurant.
Though he went back to the restaurant later to pay for the meal, the embarrassment of initially refusing to pay the bill lived with him until he created another drama with a Hybrid chicken statue at a roundabout in Lusaka.
Obviously, if people are eating chicken in management meetings at the council, the last thing the mayor would want to think about is whether or not the snack was once a statue.
It’s not as if he wants an apology from Hybrid Poultry Zambia first to continue eating chicken in management meetings, one thing is sure, he does not want the council to pay the bill for the snacks.
Although people in the hood say wakuta achokepo (he who is full should leave the table), his worship the mayor is not yet ready to quit attending meetings over food.
If he did not quit over the refusal by people in the hood for him to remove the Hybrid chicken statue, why should he quit over the issue of snacks during management meetings?
According to a story in the Zambia Daily Mail recently, he told Lusaka City Council Finance director Bestone Kajoba that expenditure on snacks like chicken, sausages and biscuits in management meetings must stop.
Of course, you have to be a Lusaka Mayor to hate chicken and paying for snacks from restaurants dotted around Lusaka.
His order came through a letter written to the Finance director dated April 1, Fools Day, and it was not a joke.
He is lucky that the letter was adddressed to council management. If it was addressed to people in the hood on Fools Day the reaction would be “osasobelela ku vakudya (don’t play jokes with food).
This goes to show that the mayor’s fight against the chicken was not only limited to the Hybrid one at the roundabout, but his battle against the rooster has now gone to the boardroom.
The mayor has also told the Finance director to stop spending money on fruits, meat pies and samosas during the meetings he chairs.
Perhaps he suspects the fruits served during management meetings are the ones confiscated from street vendors by council police.
I am sure the Lusaka City Council director on public health would know better about the source of the fruits.
This is not to say that the Lusaka Mayor is looking for faults in all the wrong places since his restaurant incident, whatever he touches nowadays has the potential to attract reactions.
However, directors at Lusaka City Council have not reacted to the directive yet although their appetites may have been whetted some more.
Yes, anything can happen, after all they say a hungry man is an angry man, which means that a person who does not get what he wants or needs is a frustrated person and will be easily provoked to rage.
At least the mayor has shown that he does not work in order to eat, but eats in order to work, which is why he wants directors at the local authority to come for work and not to eat in management meetings.
He has suggested that those who feel like eating during management meetings should come with their own snacks.
Let’s hope some people won’t start coming to these meetings with supu yambuzi (goat stew) which is popular in watering holes in the hood.
The mayor says if the council stops buying snacks for management meetings, the local authority would at least save K20,000, which can be channelled to salaries.
Don’t ask me what council workers eat during lunch, all I know is that the mayor wants the buying of refreshments during management meetings to stop.
Whatever the case, the Lusaka Mayor is losing appetite for food and wants directors at the City Council to reduce their eating habits, which I think is not a bad idea.
Is Lusaka Mayor losing appetite for food?
Torn Apart: BOYD PHIRI