Amid widespread public outcry over alleged dealings with a Chinese businessman, Zambia’s Foreign Minister, Stanley Kakubo, resigned from his position.
The announcement came on Tuesday (Dec 26) from the president’s office, hours after a social media frenzy triggered by a video depicting individuals counting substantial sums of cash.
The scandal gained traction after a purported handwritten note, along with the video, went viral on social media, suggesting dealings between a Chinese and a Zambian mining firm, involving a hefty sum of $100,000.
The note, dated July 8, 2022, had the names of Kakubo and a certain ‘Mr. Zang’. However, WION could not verify the authenticity of these details.
The president’s office released a statement confirming that Kabuko has resigned and applauded his leadership and commendable work during his tenure.
“The President thanks Hon, Kakubo MP for his service to the Government of the Republic of Zambia as Cabinet Minister and implores him to continue to serve diligently in his capacity as Member of Parliament for Kapiri Mposhi Constituency,” President Hakainde Hichilem said, without specifying the reason for his resignation.
However, 43-year-old Kakubo, an MP since 2016, quickly issued his own statement, giving reasons as to what made him take the decision
“In view of the matter that is currently in the media regarding malicious claims over a business transaction between my private family business and our business partner with whom we still have good relation,” he said.
“This decision is to ensure that our government is not distracted from continuing to look for solutions for bettering the lives of our people,” he said, adding that he would remain “loyal” to the government.
China’s influence in Zambia
Zambia, endowed with many natural resources, is heavily reliant on copper mining. It has been a part of the country’s history and remains its economic backbone till date.
China, a major importer of Zambian copper, is heavily involved in the Zambian mining industry.
Furthermore, Chines has also been a major player in international efforts to restructure Zambia’s foreign debt. Zambia defaulted on its sovereign debt in 2020 as the COVID-19 crisis grew, reports AFP news agency.