By JOHN SAKALA
‘Nobody can take you to the top unless you take yourself there,’ this seems to be the willpower which has driven Ndola Mayor Amon Chisenga to sail through right to the top of the Ndola City Council.
His marathon to where he is today has never been an easy voyage but a trudge that meandered via the vineyards of cattle herding to being raised without the father figure.
His expedition in the political wilderness began at Kafue Boys Secondary school in 1985 and only arrived in the political promised land in 2016 when he elected as Ndola City Mayor.
Mr Chisenga’s trek, like the Israelites was full of turmoil among them expulsion from school and facing the hurdles of working part time jobs for sustainance.
As a boy, Mr Chisenga spent most of his youthful life heading cattle for his uncles who raised him in Nangoma at Shamauma village in Chief Shakumbila chiefdom and later moved to Chongwe at Mapulanga village.
Bible examples of Moses and King David shows that there is a unique quality in heading animals which severally help former cattle herdsmen to make good leaders.
At the Ndola City Council, the Mayor has been facing numerous hurdles dealing with land illegalities which saw the Town Clerk Ernst Sumali being suspended.
He says land administration has been of a challenge in the past due to lack of automated land management system.
“This gave way to a number of illegalities. Currently our Council has started automating land management system using Geographic Information System which will address current land related problems and it is a universal platform for planning.
“Shortly members of the public will be able to make use of such a platform online. It’s obvious that this platform will in increase transparency and informed decision making of land related issues. It’s a universal platform that will positively affect workflows at the Council such as taxation, mapping for automated monitoring of revenue collection,” he said.
Mr Chisenga said the platform also is for environmental management as well as upgrading squatter settlements for improvement areas as demanded by Urban and Regional Planning Act of 2915.
“Interestingly land management system being established is a strengthening aid for coming up with Integrated Development Plan,” he said.
Born on April 20, 1968 in Ndola, Mr Chisenga found himself doing primary school in Nangoma and later in Chongwe.
He was mainly raised by his Ndebele uncles who grabbed him from his father Waddy Chisenga because he didn’t pay dowry (lobola) for his Zimbabwean wife Margaret Pompi, the mayor’s mother.
This former herdsman believes in procedure and he feels the vice of illegal land allocation was hastened by failure to adhere to some procedures.
“We need to follow procedure as required by Circular number 1 of 1985. Council is now making sure that Circular number 1of 1985 on land administration is being followed closely.
“This has since started trimming down on illegalities pertaining to land allocation. Besides anyone found allocating land illegally are being persecuted. We are also sensitizing the members on the rightful procedure when it comes to land acquisition,” he said.
Mr Chisenga who is a banker, did his primary at Kasalu in Nangoma District and Nyangwena in Chongwe between 1978 and 1984.
He did his secondary at Kafue Boys between 1985 and 1988 before he was expelled from school in 1988 for food related politics.
But he managed to complete his school at Naboye Secondary school where he was picked by the first ruling party of Zambia, the United National Independence Party (UNIP) to head the youth league at Naboye between 1988 and 1989.
In 1990, he briefly worked for Colgate Palmolive for six months before joining Central Statistics Office as Agriculture numerator, he later joined Barclays Bank Zambia in Ndola as a teller.
In his quest to end the political search, Mr Chisenga is a man you can’t deceive about political parties in Zambia, because he has sampled most of them before he settled for the PF.
In 1991 he joined MMD and sooner or later he was in the Kansenshi MMD branch committee.
In 1997 he was appointed as MMD Secretary for Ndola central Constituency till 2000.
Later that year he resigned from MMD and joined the Heritage Party led by Brigadier General Miyanda where he served as Copperbelt vice Secretary and in 2003 he was made full secretary.
Between 2003 and 2005, Mr Chisenga became chairperson for Permanent Human Rights Commission in Ndola.
In 2006, he resigned from Heritage party and joined the Patriotic Front headed by the then Michael Sata and immediately he was made campaign manager for Mark Mushili who contested the Ndola Central Constituency on PF ticket.
In 2010 he became PF Ndola District Secretary till 2014 when he was appointed as Provincial Secretary, the position he held till 2017.
In 2016, he applied for mayoral adoption on PF ticket and he was adopted after outdoing 11 others from the same party.
Married to Karen Mumba, Mr Chisenga has five children who share hobbies of singing, playing soccer and making friends with their father.
Due to his passion to litigate for the underprivileged, Mr Chisenga graduated in 2015 with a Degree in Law from the Zambia Open University.
He is currently pursuing his Masters in law majoring in Human Rights at Lusaka University.
His workmates describe him as a strong-willed leader that is passionate about his work and wants to leave better Ndola.
Tilyenji Mwanza who is Ndola Public Relations Manager said the mayor is a steadfast person who doesn’t easily get shaken by simple happenings