Zambia President Sata Dies Raising Succession Questions
The death of Zambian President Michael Sata at a hospital in London yesterday is raising questions about who will replace him as head of Africa’s second-biggest copper producer.
Vice President Guy Scott should become acting leader, according to the nation’s constitution, while elections must be held in 90 days. Scott, whose parents were born outside the southern African nation, doesn’t meet criteria to be a candidate in that vote. When Sata, 77, left Zambia for medical treatment in London on Oct. 19, he named Defense Minister Edgar Lungu acting president.
“There is a bit of a fight in the Patriotic Front to see who’s going to be the candidate and there’s been a lot of jockeying and positioning,” Gary van Staden, a political analyst at Paarl, South Africa-based NKC Independent Economists, said by phone. “That’s all a bit open at the moment.”
Among the potential candidates to seek the ruling party’s nomination for president are Lungu, who Sata appointed as party secretary-general, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda or Wynter Kabimba, former Patriotic Front secretary-general and ex-justice minister.
The kwacha weakened 1.1 percent to 6.4275 per dollar by 9:33 a.m. in Lusaka, the lowest since Aug. 15. Yields on Eurobonds due April 2024 rose one basis point to 6.5 percent.
“Cabinet are reportedly meeting,” Razia Khan, head of Africa economic research at Standard Chartered Plc in London, said in an e-mailed response to questions. “We expect we will get confirmation of any acting president shortly, while Zambia enters a period of mourning.”
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Vernon Wessels at [email protected] Emily Bowers, Karl Maier
Article credit : bloomberg.net