Zambia’s Foreign Minister Stanley Kakubo comes under fire on social media after a video purportedly shows him counting piles of cash with an alleged Chinese businessman amid China’s growing influence in Africa He resigned after causing the incident.
According to Agence France-Presse, unverified social media images of the signed transaction memo suggest that Kakubo exchanged money with a Chinese mining company, further fueling speculation about the exchange.
Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema accepted Kakubo’s resignation in a statement on Tuesday, denying the scandal but praising his “commendable work and leadership.”
Kakubo said in a statement Tuesday that he resigned to ensure the government “is not distracted from continuing to seek solutions to improve the lives of our people.”
Although Kakubo will no longer be the Minister of Foreign Affairs, he will continue to serve as a member of Zambia’s parliament.
Kakubo did not deny that he had appeared in the video, but said the backlash was a result of “bad faith surrounding the transactions between my private family business and a business partner with whom I still have a good relationship.” It was described as a misunderstanding based on “claims”. He claimed that “in time, we will put this story into its correct context.”
According to the Lusaka newspaper, this is not the first time that Kakubo has been embroiled in a scandal involving the interests of a Chinese company. Last year, he was also photographed accepting a bag from an unidentified Chinese citizen at the Chinese-owned Sinoma Cement Company. It is said that he was times. Mr Hichilema at the time refused to fire Mr Kakubo, insisting that he had visited the site as a civilian and only received cement and small souvenirs.
The accusations of improper business relationships with Chinese companies come as China continues to expand its influence in Zambia and across Africa. Chinese companies have invested billions of dollars in Zambia’s mining industry. China is also working with Zambia on debt restructuring. And China is also Africa’s largest trading partner, surpassing the United States in 2009, according to the Brookings Institution.
“I am not insinuating that Mr. Kakubo is guilty,” said former Zambian President Edgar Lungu, who said Mr. Hichilema refused to fire him or publicly question Mr. Kakubo’s actions. criticized that. “What I am saying is that if there is no sacred cow in Mr. Hichilema’s fight against corruption, then Mr. Kakubo will be investigated and if necessary prosecuted and he will be found innocent or guilty by due process of law and not by Mr. Hichilema. It is only that he should be sentenced. Hichilema.”