After Death of President Sata: Zambia Appoints White Interim Leader, Guy Scott
Zambia will have the incongruous image of a white president following the death of the incumbent Michael Sata Tuesday. Guy Scott, previously vice president under the recently deceased Sata, 77, has officially been appointed as Acting President of Zambia. Scott becomes first white President of Post-Colonial Africa.
President Scott is now the first white president of any African nation since Former President F.W. de Klerk conceded power to Nelson Mandela in 1994. Scott regularly stood in for the president at official events, but was never appointed acting president even when Sata was abroad – so this is his first time he will be officially leading the country.
The Interim Zambian leader will now look to complete the last 3 months of Former President Sata’s term. However, it is unlikely that he will be eligible for the coming round of elections due to constitutional stipulations affecting his citizenship.
University of Zambia political scientist Lee Habasonda told the BBC that Mr Scott’s critics may mount a legal challenge against his appointment by invoking the constitution’s « parentage clause » which requires the president to be a « third generation » Zambian.
The « parentage clause » was inserted after the advent of multi-party democracy in Zambia in 1990 by then-President Frederick Chiluba to prevent his bitter rival, Kenneth Kaunda – the first post-independence leader whose father was born in what is now Malawi, from running for office again.
Therefore, 70-year-old Scott will find it difficult ascending to power in the southern African state, where whites make up less than 40,000 of Zambia’s 13 million-strong population for the simple reason that his parents are from Scotland not Zambia.
Zambia’s former President Michael Sata died at the age of 77 after receiving treatment for an undisclosed illness, according to the Zambian government. President Sata, who was being treated in the UK, died in London’s King Edward VII hospital on Tuesday night.