Zambia foreign minister quits over cash-counting video

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Anti-corruption authorities in Zambia said they will investigate after a video posted on social media allegedly showed the foreign minister receiving piles of cash from a Chinese businessman.

Foreign Minister Stanley Kakubo resigned but denied wrongdoing and said he had stepped down because he did not want to cause a distraction for the government.

He did not deny he was in the video but said there had been “malicious claims over a business transaction between my private family business and our business partner”.

“In due course, we will provide the accurate context,” he said.

Kakubo said he would keep his position as an MP.

The Zambian Anti-Corruption Commission said it would investigate the circumstances surrounding the video.

The video shows at least three men counting piles of money neatly stacked on a table, some of it in US dollars and some of it in Zambian kwacha.

None of the men’s faces are visible but they can be heard counting out the cash.

The Chinese man has been identified as the owner of a mining company.

Kakubo has been accused of receiving $US200,000 ($A292,600) and a Mercedes-Benz in the deal.

Opposition political parties called for him to be investigated and, if necessary, prosecuted for corruption.

Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema accepted Kakubo’s resignation and thanked him for his “work and leadership”.

It is the second time Kakubo has been accused of receiving bribes.

He was photographed with a bag last year at a cement factory and accused of receiving gifts from another Chinese citizen.

He said the bag only contained a calendar and a diary.

The president defended him on that occasion.

China has strong business ties with Zambia.

More than 600 Chinese businesses operated in the southern African country in 2022, according to the Chinese embassy.

Many are involved in the mining sector as Zambia is one of the top copper producers in the world and also has deposits of cobalt, nickel and manganese.