Confusion has arisen on who the acting president of Zambia is following president Michael Sata’s departure for Zimbabwe on Wednesday.
Finance minister Alexander Chikwanda has always acted as president whenever Sata travelled outside the country even though there is some one in the name of Guy Scott who is paid and referred to as vice president.
But this time it is not clear who is holding the symbols of power. It is not even clear if Chikwanda is in the country at the time.
About two weeks ago, Sata signed a new protocol which made PF secretary General Wynter Kabimba third in government hierarchy and a member of cabinet.
Sata left the country on Wednesday quietly and the country was not told who will act in his absence.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that Sata left the symbols of power with Kabimba. And why not? Sata and Kabimba are buddies. When Sata was minister of local government, Kabimba was town clerk for Lusaka, that was during the construction of the Merzaf flats in Chilenje.
Maybe it is Geoffrey Mwamba, the defence minister.
The normal hierarchy of the Zambian government before the PF regime has been in this order:
President, Vice-president, Minister of Defence, Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Finance then the rest of ministers at same level.
During Chiluba’s time, minister without portfolio was second to the vice president though when Michael Sata was holding this position and Levy Mwanawasa was vice president, he told Mwanawasa that they were on the same level.
But sources at State House say Sata can not appoint minister of defence Geoffrey Mwamba as acting president because he does not fully trust him and also because Mwamba is almost illiterate.