23-year-old councillor making a difference in Chainda

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FORGET everything you think you know about Gen-Z. Meet Patrick Mpundu, a 23-year-old councilor who is defying stereotypes and making a real difference in his community.

Elected at just 21 during the last general elections in 2021, he has overcome limited resources and ageism to champion education, economic development, and security in his Chainda Ward 33.

The young leader, Patrick Mpundu recalled how difficult it was for him to continue with campaigns as he only had less than K4000 for all his campaign activities.

“I began politics when I was 20. I went into Chainda without any money. My campaign budget when I stood on the UPND ticket was less than K4000,” Mpundu revealed.

“I was a third year student then. To my shock people were very welcoming. I believe even when age is a judgement when one places their destiny in the hand of God, he will lift them and grant them victory.”

Mpundu, who will be 24 on the 21st of this month has a journey towards civic leadership shaped by his upbringing and a deep sense of responsibility towards his fellow citizens.

He did his secondary education at the prestigious Lusaka Islamic Cultural Education Foundation (LICEF).

His academic journey laid the foundation for his future endeavors.

After completing secondary education in 2017, he went to pursue his tertiary education at the University of Lusaka (UNILUS) in 2018 where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.

It was during his time at UNILUS that the young leader’s passion for leadership and advocacy flourished.

Elected as the Debate Society President in 2018, he honed his skills in public speaking and critical thinking, setting the stage for his foray into politics.

In 2019, his dedication to service led him to stand for the position of student union president at UNILUS.

His tenure as Student Union President not only showcased his leadership abilities but also solidified his resolve to make a tangible difference in the lives of others.

Drawing inspiration from luminaries such as Martin Luther King Jr, Kenneth Kaunda, Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe and Julius Nyerere, he embodied the spirit of Pan-Africanism and servant leadership and embarked on a journey to contribute to the socio-economic development of his nation.

Since assuming office, he stated that he had tirelessly championed initiatives aimed at empowering youths, enhancing education and fostering economic growth within his ward.

One of his proudest achievements, he told Kalemba was his commitment to education.

Mpundu disclosed helping over 600 young people have been sponsored to various colleges and training institutes, equipping them with the skills needed to thrive in the modern marketplace.

He said his advocacy also led to the construction of essential infrastructure, such as classrooms at Chelstone Secondary School, ensuring that no child was being left behind, or sitting on the floor.

“We have done a beautiful one by three classroom block at Chelstone Secondary School, out of the 2022 CDF. In the 2024 allocation we will be building another one by six classroom block at the same school,” he said.

“We don’t want any child sitting on the floor or being overcrowded. We want to develop Chainda market to a great standard.”

Beyond education, Mpundu is dedicated to addressing the diverse needs of his community.

From improving security through the establishment of additional police posts to advocating for the creation of rehabilitation centers for young people, his initiatives encompass a holistic approach to community development.

Looking ahead, Mpundu envisions Chainda Ward 33 as a vibrant hub of economic activity, setting a benchmark for progress not only in Lusaka but throughout the country.

As a minister of the gospel, he believes that true development stems from a deep commitment to serving both God and His people.

Besides being a civic leader, he is also a farmer and businessman venturing into general supply and business consultancy services.

By Catherine Pule

Kalemba, April 16, 2024

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