Game ON! with BENEDICT TEMBO
A FEW months ago, Monze executive council chairperson Bisha Munsaka openly shared his admiration for Kitwe Mayor Christopher Kang’ombe’s boldness in dealing with vendors.
When it appeared a taboo to remove vendors from certain sections of the city, Kang’ombe succeeded.
It is not just removing vendors in which Kang’ombe has succeeded to win admiration from Munsaka.
The promotion of Kitwe United to the Super Division is yet another of Kang’ombe’s success stories which is worth emulating by other local authorities in Zambia.
Local authorities or councils have traditionally supported sports development in general and soccer in particular.
However, the economic reforms and the country’s politics have reduced local authorities influence as most of them are now operating on a hand to mouth basis.
Following the asset stripping of local authorities by the MMD government in the name of empowering citizens with accommodation by selling houses for a song, councils were literally left bankrupt.
However, things are looking up following the Patriotic Front’s administration decision to start funding councils monthly.
The Grade 12 requirement for candidates has brought quality to local authorities as graduates are now being attracted to enhance service delivery to local authorities.
With economic expansion taking place almost everywhere, especially along the line of rail, local authorities are back in business.
This means that councils can now revive community development.
In the era of public-private partnerships, local authorities do not have to go it alone.
Rather, they should invite other stakeholders to come on board and partner with them.
This is the direction I see Kang’ombe taking with the Buchi Boys.
As long as there is transparency in the running of council-sponsored clubs, the business community will surely come along because the benefit will be to the community.
Buchi Boys promotion is a challenge for other city councils such as Lusaka and Ndola.
Ndola United were once a formidable force and there is still potential to bring back this team to its glorious era.
Lusaka City Council, too, can start dominating Division One Zone One if the mayor of the greater city of Lusaka develops interest in the team.
Our mayors should know that without their personal involvement, there will be no sports development in their local authorities.
In fact, they must tag all councillors along so that sports development starts from wards.
They can influence their respective members of Parliament to start setting aside money from Constituency Development Funds for sports development.
Like in Nigeria where governors who assume full responsibility for teams in their states, it shows.
This country needs the likes of Kang’ombe to revive sports development at all levels.
Keep it up Kang’ombe.
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