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Jackson City Council addresses Lumumba’s claims of bribery

Photo from the City of Jackson.

A short City Council meeting was held today with six of the seven members in attendance, forgoing councilman Ashby Foote of Ward One.

The meeting started with the discussion of claims that were a continuation of the previous week, then continued with a resolution regarding the mayor’s recent actions towards certain City Council members.

The title of the second discussion on the agenda read:

“RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF JACKSON MISSISSIPPI EXPRESSING EXTREME DISAPPROVAL OF MAYOR CHOKWE ANTAR LUMUMBA’S COMMENTS TOWARD CERTAIN CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS DURING A FEBRUARY 28, 2022 PRESS CONFERENCE. FURTHERMORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF JACKSON CONCLUDES EXTREME CONCERN FOR STAFF MEMBERS OF THE MAYOR CONFRONTING COUNCIL MEMBERS IN THEIR OFFICIAL CAPACITY.”

The agenda continued, as it was revised to include the actions from the mayor the council specifically disapproved of. To read the entire two-page agenda, click here.

Several of the council members spoke, including councilman Kenneth Stokes, who has been the mayor’s line of fire during the debacle.

Stokes defended himself during the meeting, saying “I’ve been called a lot of things since I’ve been a member of this council. I’ve been called fat, now they’re saying bribery, called me ugly, but I have never been called a liar. When Kenny Stokes says something, he can prove it. And whatever I say, I stand by it 100 percent.”

Earlier this week, Stokes reportedly claimed that Lumumba was smoking too much marijuana as the mayor made claims of bribery during a meeting. Lumumba proceeded to mention the change in the relationship of both Stokes and Foote, saying that their collaborative efforts and Stokes’ attendance was something that needed to be watched.

Friday’s meeting, which Mayor Lumumba did not attend, shortly ended after the council members spoke on the issue with Aaron Banks from Ward Six being the last to speak.

“The mayor of this city said that certain council members are dealing with bribery in his belief,” Brooks said. “Nobody has gotten on the media and said anything about the mayor from this council, or his family, or accused him of anything. Nobody, nobody has. That has never happened.”

Before Council President Virgi Lindsay could begin the final vote on the agenda topic, an audience member spoke up after Banks’ statement.

That audience member was Rukia Lumumba, sister of the mayor, who was quickly silenced by the council president. Rukia was then asked to leave as Lindsay exclaimed that she would “not allow yelling from the audience.”

The final vote began after the mayor’s sister left the room and passed 3-1 with Angelique Lee and Virgi Lindsay abstaining. It’s unclear whether the vote will count as state law requires a majority vote for the agenda topic to pass.

Timeline of ongoing trash saga in the capital city

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