Zambian Foreign Minister Resigns Amidst Allegations of Receiving Cash
Zambia’s Foreign Minister, Stanley Kakubo, has stepped down following allegations of accepting a stack of cash from a Chinese businessman, captured in a video that circulated on social media. While not disputing his presence in the video, Kakubo stated that he resigned to prevent the government’s distraction from addressing the controversy. The footage shows two individuals counting a pile of cash, sparking speculation about Kakubo’s involvement and questions regarding the absence of a bank transfer and tax considerations.
Social media further fueled the controversy with unverified images of handwritten notes suggesting an exchange of $100,000 between a Zambian and a Chinese mining company. In his resignation letter, Kakubo acknowledged facing “malicious claims over a business transaction” involving his private family business and a business partner.
While resigning from his ministerial role, Kakubo affirmed his commitment as a Member of Parliament, promising to provide accurate context in due course. President Hakainde Hichilema accepted the resignation, expressing recognition for Kakubo’s past work and leadership.
This marks the second time Kakubo has faced controversy, having been accused of bribery in 2022 when leaving the office of a Chinese-owned cement company. Despite defending himself and receiving support from the president, this recent scandal prompted his resignation.
Zambia’s commitment to combating corruption, a key agenda item since President Hichilema’s assumption of office, faces scrutiny as the opposition calls for investigations. Ex-President Edgar Lungu emphasised the need for a fair approach in the anti-corruption efforts, suggesting that Kakubo should be investigated if there are no exemptions in the government’s pursuit of corruption.
Chinese investments in Zambia have been significant, with over 600 Chinese businesses investing more than $3 billion in the country, according to the Chinese Embassy in 2022. Kakubo’s resignation marks a notable development in Zambian politics, with ongoing debates about anti-corruption measures and their application.