Guy Scott, President of Zambia [2014 – 2015]

My uncle, Guy Lindsay Scott [first cousin of my grandfather] became Africa’s only white president on the death of President Sata on the 28th October 2014. He was in office until the following year.

“I am Africa’s first white democratic leader”

“You see people’s jaws drop, they think there’s been a mistake with the seating plan or something,” he said. “A white Zambian but not representing white interests, that’s the point.”

Dr Guy Scott has been widely credited with rescuing Zambia from a food crisis caused by a drought when he was agriculture minister in the 1990s. He was born in the town of Livingstone, beside the Victoria Falls, on the 1st June 1944.

[Guy Scott, age 6 months with his mother Grace.]

His father, Dr Alec Scott (1885-1960) had emigrated to what was then the British Protectorate of Northern Rhodesia in 1927, where he worked variously as a doctor, a politician fighting for African rights, a lawyer and a newspaper publisher.

Guy Scott studied mathematics and economics at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He later took a doctorate in cognitive science from Sussex University.

Guy Scott’s grandfather, Bob Scott (1856-1940) lived in Bridge of Allan. He was a fruit grower and jam maker, the family business having started in Carluke with fruit gathered from the orchards the Clyde.

[the above photograph at Drumdruills, Bridge of Allan is of my grandfather standing next to his grandfather Bob Scott, who is also Guy Scott's grandfather]

As a wee boy Guy sent this letter to his older sister Sally (I have shortened it for this post):

Sally Scott once said of her brother Guy: “he has inherited my father’s restless energy and his disdain for convention . . . he is an immensely warm and generous person with an intellect and wit to die for”.

Guy Scott returned to Scotland in the summer of 2014 to attend the Commonwealth Games. We met up with him in Carluke where we visited the old family Jam works before going on to visit Blantyre. It was a very special day. Guy Scott reminded me of my grandfather who I cherished. He was wonderfully kind, laugh-aloud witty, and incredibly bright. However, it was clear to me that he did not take himself, and the pomp around him, too seriously.

Jeely piece:

To play this short film please click here or on the image above.

Guy Scott now lives with his wife, Charlotte, on a farm outside Lusaka, where he has spoken of his wish to enjoy a peaceful retirement among the frangipani trees. Charlotte has said of her husband: “He has very few actual possessions and has never shown much wish for them. He’s never been interested in stuff… I think he’s got a watch now.”

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