Councilors have been advised to avoid voting for Mayors on partisan lines ahead of mayoral elections that are slated for Friday this week in Livingstone because the position of Mayor was not a political position.
The Livingstone Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has expressed confidence that that the Mayoral elections would see people with credible characters and integrity being voted into the office of the Mayor who would have a genuine programme of developing the tourist capital.
Chairperson Gideon Musonda said that FODEP was duty bound to remind the councilors of the magnitude of the responsibility of the office of the Mayor and should therefore be committed to driving an agenda for the city and not for a particular political party. He said that the civic leaders had a task that was noble and should avoid falling into the temptation of propagating their political affairs in voting for the Mayor of Zambia’s tourist city.
He said that councilors must not put partisan political interest above the development of the city that saw a lot of infrastructure development prior to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) conference.
“Over the years Livingstone city council has had a mixture of success and failures in leadership and some of the failures had been attributed to lack of leadership by persons who occupy the important positions of the Mayor and deputy Mayor,” Musonda said.
Musonda stated that during the last decade, the city council suffered stagnation that could have been avoided with good leadership adding that there had been a lot of political scheming against the city’s leadership which has resulted into several programmes getting suspended.
“As a representative democracy, our local government system provides for councilors to elect the mayor and deputy mayor. And we hope that the supported article in the first draft constitution pertaining to election of mayor and deputy mayor to be directly elected by registered voters resident within the district will be reflected in the final draft constitution so that 2016 elections can produce mayors who will be directly accountable to all people in the district,” he said.
Musonda further said that he expected the councillors to elect a person who had a vision for present and future developments especially with the unprecedented levels of infrastructure development been undertaken in Livingstone.