Cabinet appointments are just one indication, of course, of what a ruling party will do in power. In addition to appointing Dr. Scott as vice president, Sata also has imposed, and then lifted, a ban on the export of Zambian metal ore by foreign exporters, after assuring himself that Zambia was receiving the proper amount of export revenues. And early this week, Sata personally intervened to stop the forced sale of Zambia’s private Finance Bank – owned by a top Sata supporter, Rajan Mahtani, who is currently under investigation for fraud. Sata said the investigation of Mr. Mahtani was politically motivated by his predecessor, President Rupiah Banda. All of these are indications that some things will change greatly under Sata, while other things will remain much the same.
And while Scott is white, his politics are informed by a long association of his family with Zambian nationalists who fought for separation from British colonial rule. Scott, who was born in the Zambian city of Livingstone – across the river from the Zimbabwean town of Victoria Falls – joined active politics in 1990 as a member of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy, and later switched to the Patriotic Front of Michael Sata.
His late father, Alexander Scott, an ally of Zambian nationalists, was a founder of anti-colonial-government newspapers including the African Mail, which became the government-owned Zambia Daily Mail.