Zambia has named Guy Scott as its interim president following the death of president Michael Sata. Guy Scott served as the Vice President of Zambia from 2011-2014.
Guy Scott, a 70-year-old ex-farmer and economist, has become Zambia’s acting president, ending speculation that his heritage would stop him being acting leader in the southern African state, where white people make up less than 40,000 of Zambia’s 13 million-strong population.
Scott is the first white person to lead a democratic country on the continental mainland.
Sata, a devout Catholic, was a former policeman, car assembly worker, trade unionist, taxidermist and platform sweeper at Victoria station in London. He had been a perennial opposition leader, losing three presidential votes, but finally became independent Zambia’s fifth president in 2011 against a backdrop of public anger at corruption and frustration among those yet to benefit from a copper mining boom.
He had run for election as one of the few African leaders apparently willing to stand up to China, describing the companies extracting Zambia’s natural resources as “infesters”. But he appeared to tone down the rhetoric once he was in power.
Nicknamed King Cobra for his abrasive rhetoric, he enjoyed warm relations with president Robert Mugabe of neighboring Zimbabwe and was accused by critics of autocratic tendencies.