Could Zambia be headed towards a dynasty?


Gary van Staden, a political analyst at NKC Independent Economists warned that the obtaining environment could see the country turning into a family dynastic model.

“The worrying thing is that none of the candidates fighting to take over power from Sata are credible, with his son being one of the front runners,” Van Staden told CNBC Africa.

“Sata’s son, Mulenga Sata is currently the mayor of the capital, Lusaka, and one of the main contenders to take over from his father,” added Van Staden.


According to media reports, there are about five to six major contenders in the ruling Patriotic Front vying to lead the party and the country.

“We have been getting feedback from people in Zimbabwe that the Patriotic Front leaders are worried about the possibility of deputy president, Guy Scott taking over from Sata should he become incapacitated,” noted Van Staden.

“Certain senior cabinet members think Scott is an incompetent fool, with little political support and has already indicated that he doesn’t want to be president.”

Constitutionally, the deputy president takes over from the incumbent should he fail to continue performing his duties or dies.

However, Zambia’s constitution allows the president to appoint a second president who could potentially ascend to power ahead of Scott.

These political uncertainties could become a huge liability to the country’s bleeding economy.

(READ MORE: Zambian economy in turbulent times)

Yvette Babb of Standard Bank’s Africa Research Team added that the current environment was making it difficult for business as there was no policy predictability.

(READ MORE: Lack of policy clarity hampers investment into Zambia mining)

“What we would like to see is predictable policy environment and clearly it does therefore matter who is running the ruling party and with power play,” noted Babb in response to possibilities of power transfer in the patriotic Front.

“The political environment has been turbulent over the past two years and has become unpredictable. We also care what the succession plan is should president Sata become incapacitated or potential fall.”

Should president Sata relinquish power, he will become one of the first incumbent African presidents to leave power as most prefer to die in power.

A number of African presidents have made attempts to retain political power within own families. An example include former Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade having attempted to make his son Karim Wade his successor.