Friday, March 12, 2010

Police summon Mongu town clerk over violence threats

Police summon Mongu town clerk over violence threats
By Mwala Kalaluka
Fri 12 Mar. 2010, 07:40 CAT

POLICE have opened a docket for Mongu town clerk Frank Kalenga after a female MMD councillor complained that he wanted to manhandle her over a petition that seeks to remove him from office. But Kalenga said although councillor Dawn Mumbwe dared him to beat her if he were a man, he told her to get lost because she were already dead.

Sources said Mumbwe complained against Kalenga on grounds that he threatened to beat her up recently. The sources said the issue arose from a petition that had been signed by 15 out of the 33 councillors, urging Mongu Mayor George Simushi to call for a special council meeting that sought to address the management problems at the local authority.

“Our council has a lot of problems and so we have petitioned based on several reasons,” the source said.
The source said one of the issues that needed to be probed was the dubious allocation of plots at the new Kasima area.

“We are in a fix by Kalenga. We want him removed. We have since petitioned the minister of local government, which we also gave the mayor but he says he has not seen it,” the source said. “Kasima land was given by the Litunga. The land was surveyed but what happened is that it was not well surveyed and most of the plots have been allocated dubiously.”

The source said the councillors wanted to know how many plots had been allocated and how much had been realised.

“Money for a play park in Mongu has been mismanaged and council resolutions are not being implemented,” the source said.

The source said the council public toilet project that gobbled K169 million had not only been condemned by the Ministry of Health owing to its location, but had also stalled.

“Houses are being gutted in Mongu and people are dying because the fire tender is a white elephant despite money having been released from the ministry to repair it,” the source said. “There is a total breakdown of systems and tribalism is quite rife and the other thing is that the mayor and the town clerk boycotted International Women’s Day. So the council women did not march.”

The source said Kalenga wanted to beat Mumbwe on suspicion that she orchestrated the petition to remove him from office.

But Kalenga, who confirmed that Mumbwe had reported him to the police, described the action as “Mongu politics that is based on tribalism.”

“That is the same nonsense from the same group that continues. I have no time to beat people because beating people is failing to reason,” Kalenga said. “She came to me and said ‘if you are a man beat me’ but I said she is already dead and I told her to get lost.”

Mayor Simushi said he had not received the councillors’ petition but only heard rumours that Kalenga wanted to beat Mumbwe.

Simushi claimed that Mongu Council was performing very well and the allocation of plots at Kasima area had been conducted in line with procedures.

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