Zambia reverted to white rule on Wednesday when vice president Guy Scott of Scottish descent were elevated to the top job after the demise of President Michael Sata on Tuesday.
The Cambridge-educated economist Scott, 70, became the first white leader of an African country since FW de Klerk stepped down as president of South Africa in 1994 – and the first white head of a democratic government in Africa “since the Venetians”.
Scott, who will serve for 90 days until a new election is held, according to the constitution of Zambia.
He is quoted by UK’s Telegraph that his sudden promotion was “a bit of a shock to the system”, but added: “I’m very proud to be entrusted with it.”
“I am the acting president at the moment. It has just been passed by cabinet,” he said.
Sata, 77, died in London’s King Edward VII hospital on Tuesday night.
His death death comes just days after Zambia celebrated the 50th anniversary of independence from the UK.
He is the second Zambian leader to die in office after Levy Mwanawasa in 2008.
Until Sata’s death, the acting president of Zambia was Edga Lungu, the defence minister, but Scott said he had stepped into the position, in accordance with the constitution.
Scott’s parents were not born in Zambia, so he may fall foul of a constitutional clause on parentage which would nullify his candidacy in the presidential by-elections.
“I won’t run for the presidency at the election because constitutionally, I can’t,” he told The Telegraph
Lungu confirmed Scott will act as president “ until the country goes for a presidential by election”.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :