COUNCILOR OF THE WEEK: George Daka – shrewd businessman turned empathetic civic leader
Written by Millennium on August 7, 2019
NOEL IYOMBWA Writes
GEORGE Daka’s long years of experience as a businessman around the busy Lusaka Central Business District, made him interact with many and various kinds of people. This experience also instilled a rare kind of passion and compassion in him – the desire to serve other people, and it is the very passion which led him to his current service as councilor.
Briefly tell us about yourself?
My names are George Daka, Iam the councillor for Independence Ward 14, under Patriotic Front in Lusaka Central Constituency. I am married and I have three children.
I joined politics in 1991, but I have been around the capital city for a long time because I am a business man. I decided to stand as councilor because I thought I could do more for the people.
What inspired to go into politics?
As I said earlier, being a business man in the Central Business District, I interacted with people a lot so I understood the challenges that they faced.
This forced me to stand for elections in 2016 even though I had earlier attempted but I suffered a setback after breaking my leg.
What are some of your achievements as councillor?
Some time back, we had challenges of water at Chachacha Market, which is the town centre market, so I facilitated the sinking of a borehole and installed a pump, and I also worked on the toilets which were in a bad state.
After seating down with stakeholders, we decided to put up gates at the market because traders used to stay on at the market even up to as 23 hours, but after installing the gates, people started leaving the market after 20 hours.
Apart from that, I also facilitate the building of shops at Kulima Tower Bus Station. These shops have added some beauty to the bus station.
When I took office, I found that the Civic Centre Clinic was closed for many years so I had to sacrifice the ward funds to reopen it. It’s now operational even though it is yet to be officially opened.
I did that because the Civic Centre Clinic is very important and strategic clinic for most people in the city.
What have been some of your challenges in the ward?
One of the biggest challenge that I face in my ward is the issue of street vendors. As you know, there was an outbreak of cholera last year forcing Government to remove the vendors from the street, but unfortunate these vendors have returned.
The issue of illegal booths in the streets is another of my challenges. The city is crowded with mobile money booths. So we want to engage with the owners so that we can a convenient place for them to operate from.
As much as we need these services, we also need sanity in the Central Business District.
What future plans do you have for the ward?
Since I did not use my ward development fund last year, I want to use the same money to install some street lights along Nkwazi Road, Civic Centre and NIPA areas. Those are some of my future plans for my ward.
What are your future political aspirations?
For now, I have no plans to aspire for a higher position rather than being a civic leader. I want to concentrate on my role as ward councilor and bring development to the people. It’s up to the people to decide depending on how I work for them.