AFRICANGLOBE – Guy Scott, the Vice-President of Zambia, made some chilling and damaging statements when he was interviewed by a foreign journalist openly saying he hates South Africans.
Guy Scott also made lukewarm comments on the Patriotic Front’s stance on homosexuality following the arrest of gay rights activist Paul Kasonkomona, let loose his speech on Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe and also made some racial remarks.
Zambia’s international image has plummeted since President Michael Sata assumed office falling into the brackets of an authoritarian state and his deputy’s remarks will not help change the growing perception of a collapsing democracy.
David Smith reports below for the Guardian, UK:
One of the most colourful men in African politics happens to be white. Guy Scott is the vice-president of Zambia but his race is probably the least exceptional thing about him.
On a recent afternoon in the capital, Lusaka, Guy Scott held court with the kind of candour – and eccentricity – seldom heard from today’s media-honed political class. He dismissed South Africans as “backward”, insisted that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe wants to quit, and discussed Zambia by way of references to Marlon Brando and the Klingon empire.
The 68-year-old grandfather was just back from Margaret Thatcher’s funeral in London when he took the Guardian on an impromptu tour of an emerald auction at the Inter Continental Lusaka hotel. Discussing similar auctions in India with a deferential salesman, Scott said: “Jaipur is a terrible dump. It produces nothing but zinc.”
As officials fluttered around him, Guy Scott, wearing a dark suit, blue striped shirt and blue and red tie, was informed that the Hollywood actor Mila Kunis recently visited a local mine as an “ambassador” for Zambian emeralds. “How come I didn’t see her?” he pondered morosely.
The son of English and Scottish immigrants – his father Alexander was also an MP here – Guy Scott then gave an interview that wasted little time on diplomatic language. Discussing neighbouring Zimbabwe, where President Mugabe has governed for 33 years, he disclosed: “I think if you asked him he’d say it was enough. That’s what he said to us a few months ago. I said the way forward in African democracy is the way we do it in Zambia. He said, ‘I absolutely agree, I wish it would happen to me.'”
As in lose an election? “Yes, and a smooth handover. I think he meant it, or he was toying with the idea of meaning it. He wanted to hear how it sounded, maybe. Or something.”
Guy Scott went on to describe 89-year-old Mugabe’s persona. “He’s a funny chap. He seems to doze off and then he suddenly laughs at a joke while in the middle of dozing. And very articulate, without a note, without a scrap of anything.
“He’s an anglophone. He loves to give lectures on the English language, English weighing systems, English this or that. He was a teacher and so he taught himself all that.”
Zambian president Michael Sata – whom Guy Scott refers to as “the boss” – is known to be on friendly terms with President Mugabe, who used to work as a teacher in Zambia. “I’m sure any good African nationalist admires Mugabe,” the vice-president added. “Racism in Zimbabwe is a serious issue. I was sent to school down there and it was like being in the Hitler Youth: the theories about Black inferiority and this kind of stuff.
“It was a Whites-only school; they tried to introduce an Indian and he was hounded out at the instigation of the parents of the boys. I think Mugabe is a product of having to contend with that.”
But Guy Scott has far less time for South Africa, the continent’s biggest economy. “The South Africans are very backward in terms of historical development,” he said. “I hate South Africans. That’s not a fair thing to say because I like a lot of South Africans but they really think they’re the bees’ knees and actually they’ve been the cause of so much trouble in this part of the world.
“I have a suspicion the Blacks model themselves on the Whites now that they’re in power. ‘Don’t you know who we are, man?'”
Guy Scott scoffed at the inclusion of South Africa in the BRICS grouping of emerging economies. “They think in BRICS that the ‘s’ actually stands for South Africa whereas it stands for Africa. Nobody would want to go in for a partnership with Brazil, China, India and South Africa for Christ’s sake.
By: Charles Sakala