4 July 2014

Zambia: Inside Mulenga Sata's Presidential Campaign

Photo: Times of Zambia
Mulenga Sata, President Michael Sata's son.

Despite President Michael Sata's allegedly poor health, his son Mulenga Sata is making an ambitious run at the presidency to become the chosen PF successor, sources tell Zambia Reports, including the hiring of consultants from 'Kabwata Times' and economic support from the Minister of Finance.

The campaign of the Lusaka Mayor became openly acknowledged a few days ago when Vice President Guy Scott endorsed Acting President Wynter Kabimba and accused Mulenga of being unable to run for the presidency. Since then, Mulenga has fired back at Dr. Scott, arguing that because his mother was born on the Copperbelt, he is eligible to run.

In counter-attacking Guy Scott, Mulenga Sata released a well polished statement written by a political consultant, including clear campaign messages such as "I remain committed to the development of my country and the social upliftment of our people," and "What we want is leadership that fosters unity in the country across ethnic and/or religious divides."

This campaign propaganda was written by an individual named Emmanuel Mwamba, a source tells Zambia Reports, who is also the administrator of the Facebook page 'Kabwata Times," - a well known vehicle for hoax reports, highly personal attacks, and pro-government messaging. Writing under the fake name of 'Thanda Kula," Emmanuel Mwamba has for many months been attempting to attract the favour of the PF to earn an opportunity. Allegedly Emmanuel Mwamba works on Kabwata Times along with Proud Aushi Musamba, a Zambian woman living in the United Kingdom who recently gained fame by publishing a scathing attack against the opposition website Zambian Watchdog. Apparently, Musamba made a decision to attack ZWD based on a personal insult (more coverage coming soon).

Confidential inside sources also inform Zambia Reports that Mulenga Sata's presidential campaign is being paid for by Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda, who represents part of a group determined to see the next president of Zambia come from the Bemba tribe (to which Wynter Kabimba does not belong). Evidently Chikwanda's faction is attempting to fight against the influence of the well-known "cartel" consisting of DPP Mutembo Nchito, Post Editor Fred M'membe, and Finance Bank Chairman Rajan Mahtani.

According to the source, Mwamba was also responsible for distributing Mulenga Sata's most recent statement in response to Vice President Guy Scott, and allegedly paid a ZNBC news producer to make sure that the story was the first headline on the evening news.

In recent months, extraordinary steps have been taken to ensure that Mulenga Sata's profile was being raised. He appeared at his father's side at every photo opportunity, and has taken several tours of both Zambia and foreign nations to spread his credentials in what appear to the early stages of a political campaign.

As Kabimba and the cartel dig into their trenches with the expected arrival of the president, many political analysts will be watching this widening dispute with the PF very carefully to see what Kabimba and his paid spin doctor Emmanuel Mwamba do to make their next move.

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