ZAMBIA: President Hichilema reappoints central bank chief axed by predecessor

 

Zambia’s president recently reappointed a respected central bank governor who was controversially sacked in 2020  by former Zambian president, Edgar Lungu three years before his term was up.

 

Denny Kalyalya was reassigned to his old job by president Hichilema barely a year after the former World Bank executive director was sacked for no concrete reasons.

The central bank governor’s removal from office by Edgar Lungu in August 2020, got the then South African finance minister Tito Mboweni furious and he publicly demanded an explanation from Lungu for Kalyalya’s sacking. This resulted in a diplomatic incident.

 

“Presidents in Africa must stop this nonsense of waking up in the morning and fire a Central Bank Governor! You cannot do that. This is not some chiefdom of yours!” tweeted Mboweni then.

In his fury, he emphasized that Edgar Lungu must explain why the governor was sacked or else  “hell is on its way. I will mobilize!”

 

On the other hand, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa later reproached his finance minister saying the “unfortunate remarks” were not called for especially, coming from a government official.

 

It should be noted that Kalyalya’s dismissal equally triggered the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to call for the bank’s “independence and credibility” to be maintained.

 

The announcement of his reappointment comes as Zambia resumes negotiating a bailout from the IMF.

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