Wynter Kabimba, leader of an obscure political party going by the name Economic Front, says Dr. Kenneth Kaunda was probably the only president that managed to “tame” his children to the extent that most of us did not even know them. Aye to that!
Dr. Kenneth Kaunda initially had 8 children. Unfortunately, Masuzyo was one of the earliest casualties of HIV/AIDS as it continued wreaking havoc in the nation early 1980s while Wezi, a rising star in politics, had to meet his fate right outside his gate, thanks to the bullet of an assassin!
Apart from Tilyenji who made a botched attempt at politics, and Panji, our current High Commissioner to Malawi who would go on to serve as deputy minister in the PF regime, nothing much is known about the other Kaunda children. There’s only an inkling of one Kambarage who would inadvertently find himself in the news late 1980s owing to shooting a poor woman in a Lusaka suburb, fatally. He was sentenced to death by hanging although the charges would subsequently be dropped after appealing the case. The courts ruled that the accused pulled the trigger in self-defense at the angry mob hell-bent on lynching him and his companions after besieging their car!
On the other hand, second Republican president Frederick Chiluba had 11 children in total. Although a few of them equally made it in the news for all the wrong reasons; at least it wasn’t on the scale of the crimes of the Mafia which would leave your jaws dropping! Castro, the notorious son of President Chiluba got away with anything from physical assault to trigger-happy! Upon his father ascending to the presidency in 1991, he apparently pulled out a gun and shot a call girl in the leg. His next victim was a man whose girlfriend he was hankering after. The girl wouldn’t ditch her fiance for the president’s son which of course infuriated him and ended up smashing a bottle of beer in his face! Castro often picked up quarrels with folks in the night clubs – and when they tried to argue with them, he’d retort, “I am the son of the president and I can kick your ass if you’re not careful!” One day, he disrupted the flow of traffic on a busy road in the central business district by standing in the middle of the road while screaming for all the world to hear, “I am the 2Pac of Zambia, no one can touch me. I am above the law!”
As if not to be outdone by his younger sibling, Miko equally had his fair share of brush with the law. He was once accused of “taking turns” in having carnal knowledge of a girl with 3 others after a drinking spree! Like Castro, he escaped the dragnet even though the case was reported to the cops and received wide coverage in the media. In a subsequent incident that would leave tongues wagging, Miko would charge at a cop armed with an AK-47. The cop was left with no option but open fire at the floor right in front of him, stopping him dead in his tracks!
As Economic Front leader rightly observes, the only other former president that deserves credit for taming his children is Mwanawasa. Although Mirriam would occasionally rock the boat with matters to do with “dalliance,” at least she and her brother, Patrick never went an extra mile and defrauded the state! While Lorna practically steered away from the limelight, Chipokota and Lubona were probably young at the time to be swayed by the trappings of power.
It was probably during the tenure of Ruphiah Banda that we’d witness almost an entire ‘first family’ entangled in corruption. Banda had 3 children from his previous marriage (Andrew, Henry, Temwani) and 2 twins with his second spouse, Thandiwe.
Rumours always swirled around about Henry this, Henry that when Banda occupied State House. And immediately voters had enough of the affable leader and extracted him from power in favour of the tough-talking and brusque Michael Sata, otherwise popularly known as the King Cobra in the scintillating 2011 elections, investigative wings would descend on the Bandas like flies on a carcass! Although the likes of Andrew would largely remain unscathed by such accusations, Henry would escape into self-imposed exile for fear of prosecution. He would stand accused of multiple charges.
In one instance, he brokered an allegedly corrupt deal in which Kenyan oil trading company Dalbit Petroleum clinched a multimillion-dollar contract to supply finished petroleum products to Zambia in 2009. He was also fingered in a corruption case involving Dora Siliya, the former Minister of Transport & Communications, relating to the controversial appointment of a Cayman Island-registered company to value Zambia’s telecommunication assets. The electrifying tales of looting didn’t end there though. Henry was further embroiled in yet another scandal after being mentioned in court documents as a key figure in an allegedly corrupt oil deal worth $2.5 million with Nigeria’s Sarb Energy Limited. The oil never made it to Zambia!
In the meantime, Rupiah Banda himself was slapped with charges over the vehicles he allegedly procured for his campaign from a Chinese company ahead of the 2011 general elections. He allegedly spent K20 billion on campaign materials, with most of this cash being personally handled by Henry.
In an interviewed with the press, Minister of Justice at the time, Wynter Kabimba, intimated: “We would love to have Henry here, but that won’t stop us from pursuing the case. We have the principal suspect — Rupiah Banda.”
In a matter of time, the Anti-Corruption Commission would soon extend their investigations to Banda’s wife Thandiwe, and place a restriction order on her luxurious apartments on the grounds that they were suspected to be proceeds of crime. The case would drag on for lack of evidence until it was eventually disposed off by the courts of law.
Although the Sata’s children would equally be caught up in a few scandals of their own, it wouldn’t be as hair-raising as compared to his successor! Immediately the King Cobra realised one of his sons was cozying-up to the Chinese; he was quick to pick up telltale signs about his possible involvement in corruption. He didn’t waste time assigning Kabimba who was the trusted Secretary General of his party to ‘counsel’ his first born child, Mulenga as he loathed having a replica of Henry in State House.
While most of his children relatively enjoyed a quiet life, Kazim had to somehow follow in the footsteps of the likes of Castro. According to the Zambian Watchdog, one afternoon Kazim accosted a journalist, Thomas Zgambo, in Lusaka’s Kabwata area, visiously pummeled him with punches while hurling abuse at him.
Fast forward………Edgar Lungu finds himself on the coveted crown, albeit by a sheer stroke of fortune. A matrix of shoddy deals is immediately set in motion involving almost the entire family……..well, going by the various spine-chilling revelations in the media!
According to the News Diggers, the state has seized properties linked to former President Edgar Lungu, his wife Esther and their children, including Tasila Lungu who is PF member of parliament for Chawama. The Director of Public Prosecutions has since applied to court to have all the seized properties forfeited to the State. Among the properties, which are suspected to be proceeds of crime, are 15 double-storey flats in State Lodge belonging to former First Lady Esther Lungu, a farm in Sinda District belonging to Tasila Lungu, one high cost house, three flats and four chicken runs belonging to Chiyeso Lungu among other properties. According to a Drug Enforcement Commission investigation, Esther constructed a 15 double-storey flats and other associated facilities at a whopping cost of K24,256,434.55!
As for president Lungu’s son Daliso Lungu, and his wife, Matildah Milinga, the accusations would even be more glaring! The couple, both directors at Saloid Traders Limited, has been arrested and charged for being in possession of a total of 48 motor vehicles with an estimated value of approximately K23 million. Additionally, the company is accused of owning fixed assets to the tune of K12.8 million, as well as K25 million suspected to be all proceeds of criminal activities. Hamoonga further revealed that Daliso Lungu, as an individual, has also been arrested and charged for being in possession of 21 motor vehicles with a street value of about K1.5 million and fixed assets valued at K31.5 million, all registered under his name! In addition to this, Daliso Lungu has also been arrested and charged with money laundering. The charges stem from the alleged deposit of over K23.9 million into the Saloid Traders Limited account, which is held at ZANACO Cairo Business Centre Lusaka Branch. The transactions are said to have occurred between September 1, 2017, and January 2022 in Lusaka. If there’s any iota of truth in such accusations, the Lungus have definitely broken a record in terms of amassing wealth within the twinkle of an eye as compared to the others! What sort of geniuses are the Lungus to amass so much wealth overnight?
Prince Bill M Kaping’a