RB and Alexander Chikwanda
RB and Alexander Chikwanda, with President Lungu in the middle

By Prince Ndoyi

“Godfathers” are usually almost synonymous with West African politics. But the phenomenon, is slowly becoming true for the rest of Africa. Godfathers themselves don’t always architect their positions, they land in such influential positions by the power they wield within the dynamics of a specific election.

Chiefs are godfathers in their regions, and dare say anything against them, then you can kiss that election in their region goodbye.

“Godfathers” in politics especially don’t usually run for office themselves, but many believe they are the ones who decide the election winners and losers.

The godfather must be influential, most often they are, or were, a political office holder. They are some of the most powerful political and business families in Zambia with a wide network abroad. They are political sponsors, who may use money and influence to win support for their preferred candidates.

Elections in Zambia, have always had its theme and individuals that are major factors and determinant of the results. In 2021, the general elections will also be determined, influenced and shaped by some individuals.

Since the return of democracy in 1991, some individuals have been a focal point of six general elections that have taken place in the country. I seek to highlight the two recent ones, whom every politician worth his sort oughts to appreciate the godfather status they have earned overtime.

These two, are from the Kenneth Kaunda school of politics, and they worked quite closely with KK. For Rupiah Banda, his more of a father figure having served as President of the Republic himself. For Chikwanda he is a father figure for PF and no one can take that away from him. They are a silent powerhouse, Lungu courts very well.

We cannot talk about the Lungu presidency, without a mention of the these two politically strong men. godfathers may not be Presidents themselves, but their voice transcends legitimate power.

After the demise of Michael SATA, President Lungu relied heavily on the blessings of these two men in both 2015 and 2016. The voter out there decides nothing before the party decides who your choice will be. And best believe me these two will shape 2021 politics, at both national and political party dynamics – and they invariably are men – who will pull the strings behind the scenes.

As such, they remain a potent factor to be reckoned with, politically next year and beyond, a blessing from them will be the highest commodity many political aspirants would be seeking.

The results of 2021 elections lay on many shoulders which includes these individuals. With almost two years down the line to 2021, there is no indication that things would change, therefore we are yet to see how the opposition will play out against this tide. Any politician who ignores these two does so at its own peril.

Their importance as regards 2021 elections cannot be seen by the naked eye, but abandoning these two will be anyone’s biggest mistake. Even as we hear, lots of stories about change of government, I tend to agree with President LUNGU’s confidence when I see how he is playing the real politics when it comes to such strong political voices.

Michael SATA won 2011, after the master dribbler albeit “godfather” Chiluba died. And that was real politics. The UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema is not naive, he understands this way too well, and may never have an honest conversation in public about this issue but we can’t run away from it.

I end with this proverb, “the Lion Monarch must always reach out to the aggrieved but silent Lagoon Lion so that he doesn’t explode like the hippo. Because the Lagoon Lion controls waters that can drown.”

For their political sagacity and large followership in places I can’t mention here, they remain a major factor to be considered when measuring 2021 presidential elections at all fronts.

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39 COMMENTS

  1. Nice write up. Levy Mwanawasa defied FTJ and immediately lost Lusaka and Copperbelt to PF. It was the start of the decline of MMD. Conniving hyenas like Fred Mmembe started declaring themselves kingmakers and forcefully took grip of the country’s hegemony. It all crashed for Fred when Sata died and ECL turned to these godfathers.

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    • I consider them criminals of the highest level that have taken advantage of the docility of Zambians who praise criminals. These mongrels have destroyed this country and were nearly out of redemption space. Were going too deep to come out. Cry this beloved country

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    • These two people are only godfathers in perpetauting thieving cliques …they have built and enriched niche families that have continued plundering this country with no consideration to the majority suffering…they keep quiet whenever there are injustices , corruption, abrogation of the laws, unethical practices …you only hear them whenever there is an issue to do with power and that is what the article above is myopically and stup1dly focused on power and not servitude to the people

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    • So yes the two may be godfathers, but surely the bad and “murderous” type …Chikwanda has even successfully managed to assassinate our economy twice in his life time pushing it to debt traps…who in the frigging world can claim that record ????? People have lost lives as an outcome

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    • One was a corrupt president. 3rd most corrupt. The other is one of the worst finance ministers Zambia has ever had. Its partly thanks to him that we have this mountain of debt

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    • I curs.e the day these 2 old far.t.s were born:
      – RB introduced theft thru kickbacks from inflated infrastructure projects & started the looting of reserves left by Mwanawasa. RB’s son sto.le oil donated by Nigerian Govt & fled to RSA after Sata came to power.
      – A. Chikwanda depleted treasury & then brought in reckless borrowing from Eurobonds to Chinese loans for white elephant projects which have no economic benefits. Chikwanda’s son stole from KKIA project after scope was reduced. Today, debt is equal to GDP. 50% of national budget goes to debt service, 40% to civil servants salaries leaving only 10% for drugs, fuel, operations etc.
      A combination of corruption & reckless borrowing has brought down our economy & country to its knees.
      Let’s not praise to people who have destroyed…

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    • Corrupt according to Fred Mmembe’s version of history which put him as a noble citizen and a kingmaker. RB was never convicted by any court, he was a victim of the post/Mmembe slander attacks. ABC was equally a post/Mmembe target. Their “blessed” boy ECL put Mmembe in his place. The corruption narrative is and was mmembe’s weapon of choice which has stopped working now.

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    • The all corrupt politicians. How much is fuel today? How much is 25kg meali meal? Has load shedding Finisised? Those politicians are Bandits and need to locked up soon. All government institutions are corrupt because of those Bandits

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    • You forgot “godfather M’membe”. At the helm of the infamous POST NEWSPAPER, the paper I usually almost always refered to as the Lucifer’s File. Hiding behind the media and garnered support from groups like MISA and the likes under the guise of press freedom, he defied eminent take downs from previous Governments and invariably character assassinated every individual he didn’t like. He never ran for office but orchestrated the sidelining of NSM from the LPM regime. Oooooh Mmembe loved it. He quit his tax obligation and felt like a president himself. But inshiku shalingenye nina no mwana I loathed those sensive times in Zambia’s history but local Surrogates and Sponsors aka (Godfathers) will always be there. Godfathers bleed godfathers.

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    • I can’t be believe someone in politics as princess ndoyi claims would be proud to use that term (godfather) in a democratic dispersion , a word synonymous with mafia thuggery. may God deliver this country from such uncouth thinking mentality, this country deserves better and does not need to go that route.

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    • Has Alex Chikwanda’s godfatherhood been good for Zambia? I doubt it. Look at the debt mess he has left. The sooner this man is forgotten the better so that Zambia moves on. I really despise him. He had no clue how bond markets operate and the required information obligations once u borrow from them. Secondly, monitoring institutions such as rating agencies and the role of the financial press in keeping investors informed about the borrowers’ financial circumstances are all critical. They want their e-mails, press queries and phone calls answered whn they send them. That’s how their world operates and Zambia is too weak to change this culture.

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    • @1.1 Tribal Hegemony is perpetrated by HaUPND! Well tried! Try HAGAIN! See HAcomments Hagain here and you will know what I mean! “ONLY A TONGA can be a president of UPND, Sakwiba you are not Tonga so you cannot be President of UPND!” Only “A TONGA” can be a Godfather! VJ or something. Anyway, in 2021 someone is going to be put in a MUSEUM.

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  2. The real godfathers of elections are the electorate. Who was The Godfather when kk fell? Or indeed when AKM pulled the rabbit out of the hat? ABC may have part financed ecl and yes RB still has leverage over him but if we all pool our votes we can change our nation. Two ways kick ecl out or kick out all his mps!

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  3. There influence unfortunately is rigging elections. They are far from being respectable elders of our politics. At this age they ought to have been the beacon of hope & wisdom that guides younger leaders & citizens to a united non-tribal Zambia that KK had envisaged

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  4. These two have wrecked our country. We were debt free then came back Chikwanda piling debt on us like he did. He also destroyed the Finance Ministry, everyone after him is forced to go beg for debt forsaking making other better alternatives. RB lost elections you can’t credit him with much, he probably just taught edgar how to rig and avoid giving up the presidency which explains why Lungu hang on to power without allowing the speaker to do so. RB transferred his wastefulness to edgar who has managed to bankrupt the country.

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  5. I don’t have anything to say about Old Jimmy and Nyama Soya. The only thing they have in common is that they gifted us a Jemasoni Guzzler as President who has managed to lower the governance barometer to precarious levels. His prolonged stay subtracts more to the well-being of the nation

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  6. RB lost election how can he influence any one to vote for other person? its actually this kind of thinking that is making our country to end up with useless leaders

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    • @ 6, answer being without R.B’s influence, President Edgar Madizzy, & P.F would have struggled to win the election after Sata passed.
      R.B, DID NOT side with P.F out of the goodness of his heart, & for the betterment of Zambia, after all P.F had just wiped the floor with him, & kicked him out of Plot No1, BUT needed a Broke President Madizzy to pardon his & his sons alleged Corrupt practices, & it was a marriage of convenience.
      Remember ba Jona didn’t even own a spoon, let alone have campaign funds, & Guy Scott prevented Jona from using State funds to campaign, therefore in comes R.B, goes to his Nigerian friends who he had Corrupt Petroleum dealings with, gave Jona campaign cash, + Eastern Province, & Jona then stopped following up R.B’s Corruption cases, that Sata was pursuing, &…

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    • Continued;
      that Sata was assertively pursuing, & the rest is history.

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    • Nyama Soya helped fund Edgar just like Old Jimmy. Guy Scott refused to use state coffers. Nyama Soya solicited funds here and abroad. It takes a lot to win an election in case you don’t know. Ask those that know, elections are a serious business

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  7. Well said sir. Now we know the source of the poor economy where it’s coming from. Its these greedy men who have no inch of sympathy on how to work for the country for the benefit of everyone.they operate for their own benefit. God shall punish them.

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  8. It was sata as president who brought chikwanda out of retirement and put him straight as minister of finance. The rest is history. So next time know who you vote for.

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  9. these two men will burn the nation if we don’t tame their appetite for tirbal divisions..we don’t need their help as it is now..we need Zambians to make decisions without their input..they are destroying our nation !

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  10. Godfathers bleed godfathers.

    A Godfather has personal interests to protect.
    You had better get a local godfather than import one. That’s how you win elections. Godfathers are in every country and leverage their interests.
    A godfather always wants to be left out’a ifimalyashi fyabupuba kwati ifi.

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    • Quote from taxi driver the movie: Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets.

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  11. RB and Chikwanda may have the muscle to determine who goes on to the ballot paper but the people of Zambia decide who goes into State House. We can sit here and argue all day but the reality is that no amount of king-making, arm-twisting and bribery will stop the grumbling stomachs of our people or walk kilometers to school on behalf of rural children.

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  12. Good to know were we are coming from and were we are going,that is how real life is suppose to be,and history repeats its self.Coming to 2021 no doubt ECL is wining and after that it will be CK period.

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  13. They are Tribal Godfathers, pure and simple. RB is fighting for an Easterner to be installed as PF President while Chikwanda wants a Bemba as next President. This is the same cabal that has run Zambia since independence. Indeed they have successfully run the country into the ground!!!

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  14. They are useless people they have destroyed our country so much that zambians have started appreciating coruption as a way of acquiring wealth……..anywah only God will judge them selfish individuals who dont care about this country only about them

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  15. Also write about the 2 hour reconciliation, live from st Ignitious. After 2 hours CK gave us a true account of events in the movie in titled “ambushed at St Ignitious” . I think it will make it for the Oscar nominations for this year

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  16. This is nonsense storytelling at it’s best. Zambians should not lose their idiocnysracy by cultural appropriation from West African corrupt states. We are the slower more considered African cousins. We have our own identity forged by our love for peace and orderly respect for our elders as passed down by our ancestors.

    Those two are nothing like God Fathers (a body that guides you to be your best following God’s edicts). They are both more like Zambian fallen Angels that have failed to protect citizens and put us into financial structures by their bad financial mismanagement. Maybe call them ‘Tea Leafers,’ which is British Cockney rhyme for ‘thieves’ or even spives is a fair comparitor!

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    • LT why is my comment awaiting moderation. My statement is inoffensive and true. Cut this out. You can’t complain of govt interesting with your right to publish, when you do worse to your readers!

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  18. Cure
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