Zambia hits back at South Africa as big-brother bully tactics gets to new low

© Gallo Images Tito Mboweni

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s worrying big brother interference into regional countries governing took a new low on Saturday when South Africa’s Finance Minister Tito Mboweni threatened Zambian President for sacking the country’s Central Bank Governor.

This prompted a feisty from angry Zambian Information Minister urging Tito Mboweni to concentrate on rising Covid-19 deaths in his country. South Africa is battling rise in coronavirus cases which have now surpassed 600 000. The government is also having serious corruption scandals of unscrupulous tenders to fight Coronavirus; one of which was handed out to a dead person.

“We are very surprised with Tito Mboweni’s immature and improper criticism of a sovereign decision by Zambia. The Minister should be attending to COVID problems facing the South Africans, our focus here. We will pursue matter diplomatically.”

South Africa is being accused in Zimbabwe for destabilising the Zimbabwean government using its media to stir tensions in the country. Zimbabwe government of President Mnangagwa has so far rebuffed what it says is an unsolicited interference in its affairs.

Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Saturday summarily dismissed central bank governor Denny Kalyalya and replaced him with former deputy finance minister Christopher Mphanza Mvunga, a statement from State House said.

Mboweni sparked angry responses from people from regional countries and South Africans telling him he was out of order.

Writing on his twitter account, the playful chubby-looking Finance Minister wrote:

 

 

“President Lungu has terminated the contract of Bank of Zambia governor Dr Denny Kalyalya with immediate effect,” said the statement, which did not provide reasons for the dismissal.

Kalyalya, who previously served as a World Bank executive director, was appointed in February 2015 and had his contract extended in 2018 until 2023.

His dismissal comes barely three days after the central bank cut its benchmark lending rate by 125 basis points to 8.0% to try to safeguard financial sector stability and protect livelihoods in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The appointment of Mvunga, who was serving as deputy secretary to the cabinet in the finance and economic development unit, is subject to ratification by parliament, the president’s statement added.

Mvunga, seen by political analysts as an ally and close friend of the president, worked previously as a senior auditor at Deloitte & Touche between 1988 and 1993 before joining the banking sector.

He worked at Standard Chartered bank until 2015, when he was nominated as a member of parliament and appointed for a brief stint as deputy finance minister until 2016.