Guy Scott

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Guy Scott
Guy Scott.png
President of Zambia
Acting
Incumbent
Assumed office
29 October 2014
Preceded by Michael Sata
12th Vice President of Zambia
In office
23 September 2011 – 29 October 2014
President Michael Sata
Preceded by George Kunda
Succeeded by Vacant
Minister of Agriculture
In office
1991–1996
President Frederick Chiluba
Personal details
Born (1944-06-01) 1 June 1944 (age 70)
Livingstone, Northern Rhodesia
Nationality Zambian
Political party Patriotic Front (2001–present)
MMD (1990–1996)
Spouse(s) Charlotte Scott
Children 4
Alma mater Trinity Hall, Cambridge
University of Sussex (PhD)
Profession Economist
Religion Presbyterianism[citation needed]

Guy Lindsay Scott (born 1 June 1944) is the interim President of Zambia. Scott served as Vice President of Zambia from 2011 to 2014, and became interim president on the death of Michael Sata on 28 October 2014.[1][2] He is the first white African head of state since South Africa's F. W. de Klerk in 1994 and the first white head of state in a democratic African state.

Family and early life[edit]

Scott was born in 1944 in Livingstone, Zambia. His father, Alec Scott, emigrated to Zambia from Scotland in 1927, while his mother, Grace, emigrated from England in 1940.[3]

Scott completed his education at Peterhouse in Southern Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe) and the United Kingdom at Cambridge University and the University of Sussex, where he obtained a degree in economics and a PhD in cognitive science respectively.[1][4] His participation in Zambian politics was inspired by his father, who was an ally of Zambian nationalists and a founder of anti-colonial government newspapers. During the 1950s, his father was a member of the Federal Parliament for Lusaka, standing on an independent ticket.

He is married and currently lives and works in Lusaka.

Professional achievements[edit]

After graduating from Trinity Hall, Cambridge, in 1965, Scott joined the government of Zambia, where he served in the Ministry of Finance as a planner. He was also the deputy editor of The Business and Economy of East and Central Africa during this period.[citation needed]

In 1970, Scott set up Walkover Estates. This was an agribusiness venture, which ventured into high-value crops such as irrigated wheat, strawberries, and a wide range off-season vegetables. He then went on to study robotics at Oxford University during the 1980s.[citation needed]

He completed a PhD in Artificial Intelligence at the University of Sussex and was awarded the doctorate degree in 1986. Scott's research title was "Local and global interpretation of moving images".[5]

Political career[edit]

In 1990, Scott joined the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) where he was elected to serve as Chair of the Agriculture Committee at the first convention.

He was elected as Member of Parliament for Mpika on the MMD ticket in the National Assembly during the 1991 general election and was subsequently appointed as Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. He presided over a number of policy reforms and was responsible for managing the “drought of the century” in January and February 1992. There was no reserve maize in Zambia and none in southern Africa, so emergency arrangements had to be made to import it from overseas and move it into Zambia on dilapidated rail and road networks. He also oversaw the drought recovery “bumper harvest” of 1992–93.

In 1996, Scott resigned from the MMD to form the Lima Party together with Ben Kapita, the president of the ZNFU. He piloted the merger between the Lima Party and other parties including Dean Mungomba's ZADECO to form ZAP. In 2001, he returned to politics and joined the Patriotic Front, returning to the National Assembly after being elected MP for Lusaka Central in the 2006 general election.

Vice-President[edit]

A presidential election was held on 20 September 2011, and final results released on 23 September 2011 showed the Patriotic Front's presidential candidate, Michael Sata, winning over MMD's Rupiah Banda by a large margin. Guy Scott was consequently sworn in as Vice-President of the Republic of Zambia on 29 September 2011.

Shortly after his election, The Guardian quoted Scott as saying: "I have long suspected Zambia is moving from a post-colonial to a cosmopolitan condition. People's minds are changing: they are no longer sitting back and dwelling on what was wrong about colonialism". In a 2012 meeting with former US President George W. Bush (who sponsors various charity initiatives in Zambia), he said, "when they introduced me as Vice President, he thought they were kidding".[6]

Interim President[edit]

After Michael Sata's death on 28 October 2014, Scott became interim president. The constitution of Zambia requires a new election within 90 days to permanently fill the office.[7] It was noted that he was the first white president in Africa since the last apartheid-era President of South Africa, F. W. de Klerk.[8]

The constitution of Zambia requires presidential candidates to be at least third-generation Zambians, thus Scott is ineligible for the forthcoming election.[9] The provision was put in place by President Frederick Chiluba to prevent Kenneth Kaunda – whose father was born in what became Malawi – from becoming president.[10] However, a previous judgement by the Zambian Supreme Court, in a similar case in 1998, might validate him as a potential candidate.[11]

On 3 November 2014, he dismissed Edgar Lungu as Secretary General of the Patriotic Front political party; however, he reinstated him a day later, on 4 November.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Laing, Aislinn (29 October 2014). "I am Africa's first white democratic leader, says Zambian vice-president". The Daily Telegraph (Cape Town). Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "Cabinet appoints Guy Scott as Interim President – reaction from Gen Miyanda". Lusaka Times. 29 October 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  3. ^ Namwali Serpell. "Zambians don’t care about our new president’s skin colour". the Guardian. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "Zambia: ‘Guy Scott Profile’". Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  5. ^ John Williams. "Informatics Resource Centre: Item 7447". 
  6. ^ "Dr Scott, I presume?". The Spectator. 10 March 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Zambia's Guy Scott makes history as white president in sub-Saharan Africa, Faith Karimi, CNN, 29 October 2014.
  8. ^ Al Jazeera and agencies. "Zambia's President Michael Sata dies". Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "Guy Scott's rise to Zambia's presidency". BBC News. 29 October 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "BBC News - Guy Scott's rise to Zambia's presidency". BBC News. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  11. ^ "After the Cobra: What does the law say about Vice-President Guy Scott?". 28 October 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  12. ^ Zambian President Guy Scott in row over Edgar Lungu sacking, BBC News, 4 November 2014.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Michael Sata
President of Zambia
interim

2014–present
Incumbent