Zambian Foreign Minister Resigns Over Cash Scandal
Zambia’s Foreign Minister, Stanley Kakubo, has resigned following allegations of accepting a substantial amount of cash from a Chinese businessman, captured in a video that circulated on social media.
While not disputing the video’s authenticity, Kakubo asserted that he was facing “malicious claims over a business transaction,” prompting his resignation to prevent government distraction.
The incriminating footage displays two individuals counting a stack of US dollars and Zambian kwacha on a table, fueling speculation about Kakubo and the unnamed Chinese businessman. Questions arose about the absence of a bank transfer and tax implications.
Kakubo, previously embroiled in controversy, denied any wrongdoing last year when accused of accepting a bribe from a Chinese-owned cement company. This time, he maintained that the cash exchange involved his “private family business” and a “business partner with whom we still have good relations.”
President Hakainde Hichilema acknowledged Kakubo’s “commendable work and leadership” while accepting his resignation. However, the opposition, led by ex-President Edgar Lungu, insists on a thorough investigation into alleged corruption.
This marks the first ministerial resignation under President Hichilema’s administration, which pledged to combat corruption, though accusations of bias persist.
As the nation awaits more details, the incident underscores the complex web of relationships between Zambian officials and Chinese investors, with over $3 billion invested by more than 600 Chinese businesses in 2022 alone.
In Kakubo’s words: “I have resigned… to ensure that the government was not ‘distracted’ from its efforts to improve the lives of Zambians.”