Lusaka Central chose change

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SUN REPORTER writes


HAVING been admitted to the bar in 2001, the youthful lawyer Haimbe Mulambo was confident of his ability to meet the aspirations of the public.

Despite the competition, the lawyer emerged as the Lusaka Central Member of Parliament on the United Party for National Development (UPND) having beaten the immediate past MP, Margaret Mwanakatwe of the PatrioticFront, with a margin of over 8,000 votes in the 12 August 2021 General Elections.

The 45-year-old lawmaker has stated that he was compelled to stand as MP because of the strong bond he shared with the Lusaka Central constituents.

“I did my primary school in Lusaka Central, from 1982 to 1988; you get attached like that. From 1989 to 1993, I was at Kabulonga Boys Secondary School but most importantly I live here,” he told the media prior to the campaign period.

“I have that intricate knowledge of the constituency which people who may come from elsewhere and wanting to be MP may not have. And that is why my heart is for Lusaka Central and the desire to represent the people is drawn from there. I have many other reasons but that is the core reason,” he said.

“I feel a sentimental attachment to the constituency. My desire comes from a passion which comes from the years of my association with Lusaka Central.”

He adds that his desire to contest the seat goes way back.”

Haimbe, an advocate of the High Court of Zambia, recounts how he narrowly lost the chance to contest the seat in 2016.

“In 2016, I stood for adoption and I did well in the primaries but the party adopted Mrs (Charlotte) Scott, since we have more people coming on board. This shows the attractiveness of Lusaka Central,” he told The Mast newspaper.

“Everybody knows that this is the citadel, the centre of power. It’s arguably one of the most important constituencies in the country.”

Doubling roles can be a mouthful for others but Haimbe outlined his basic routine of his proposed approach if he is elected as a member of parliament.

He notes that when one is elected to be a people’s representative, anything else should become secondary.

“But Zambia being what it is, you have to at least have a side job to survive. I will have to continue with my law practice while watching that I do not use my position to gain undue advantage. The important thing is to create Chinese walls and make sure that your roles at Parliament are not disturbed,” Haimbe shared.

“Of course, we are hard workers; we are used to working different jobs at any given time.”

He then describes himself, like unveiling his political side.

“I am a loyal and active member of the UPND. I am an established and senior lawyer; a civic activist and change advocate with a track record of addressing national issues,” Haimbe said.

“Why should people vote for me? Without blowing my own trumpet, I would say because I have strong and demonstrated leadership skills. I am passionate, hardworking, honest, energetic and young at heart.”

He explains that his successes are notable, including fighting for the rule of law and helping to shoot down Constitutional Amendment Bill No. 10 of 2019.

It may be for that reason that President Hakainde Hichilema named the lawmaker as Minister of Justice.

“I have traceable achievements in protecting public interest as well as a proven record in community work,” he adds.

“Having said that, I wish to state that I aim to resolve the solid waste management. I will work towards improving the welfare of residents and stakeholders, creating opportunities for self-improvement, especially for the differently-abled people and create a thorough system of decentralised local government administration and I will bring back sanity to Lusaka CBD and restore it to a garden city.”

He says that he understands the geography and problems of Lusaka Central Constituency.

“Different wards need different things in Lusaka Central, like, for instance, in Kabulonga Ward, I will work to ensure that the housing ownership issue in Malata, Chibelo and other areas is resolved,” he promised.

“I also want to lobby for the construction of a first-level hospital in the ward and assist in the improvement of conditions at the co-operative and Katambalala markets and help obtain title deeds for the co-operative markets.”

Haimbe was born to Dilys Nama Njolomba and the late Livingstone Central member of parliament Brigadier General Enos Mulambo Haimbe, who served in Parliament for two terms, having been elected in 1983 and later in 1988.

It is under his father’s name where he hosts a memorial football competition dubbed the Enos Mulambo Haimbe tournament, which is sponsored by the Mulambo Haimbe Foundation.

The tournament is hosted in Bauleni, a ward housed on the eastern end of the Lusaka Central Constituency.

Haimbe has been doing his political ground work, along with his law practice.

He runs a not-for-profit foundation under the name Mulambo Haimbe Foundation, since 2019.

The Foundation runs under the motto sharing hope, giving back and changing lives.

Haimbe describes that motto as the driving force for his entry into political leadership.

Apart from the sports activities, the Foundation also runs an adult literacy class which looks at empowering women with skills and the pilot project was successful and runs to date.

Under this project, elderly women participate reading and writing lessons.

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