South Africa’s Tito Mboweni does not Make Laws for us, Zambia escalates diplomatic fallout

Given Lubinda

LUSAKA – Justice Minister Given Lubinda says there is no Bill before the National Assembly or at the Ministry that was drafted by South Africa’s Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni on procedures for appointing Bank of Zambia Governor.

This is contrary to assertions made by Mr. Mboweni on the dismal of Bank of Zambia Governor Denny Kalyalya.

Mr. Lubinda says what is before the ministry is a proposal from the ministry of finance to repeal and replace the bank of Zambia Act cap 360 of the laws of Zambia

He has since challenged Mr. Mboweni to name the law that he claims to have drafted on behalf of Zambia.

He says article 214 of the constitution of Zambia, Cleary states that a Zambian with specialized training shall be appointed as Bank of Zambia Governor.

Mr. Lubinda further says section 10 of the Bank of Zambia Act which is subject to section 15 provides that the President may appoint for a period not exceeding Five years a person with recognized professional qualifications as the Bank of Zambia Governor.

Has has since declared that from the constitution and Bank of Zambia Act number 43 of 1996 the appointment of the Governor is vested in the President who also has the power to remove.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has already reprimanded Finance Minister Tito Mboweni for a tweet he posted on Saturday which criticised Zambian President Edgar Lungu’s sudden firing of the country’s central bank governor.

The presidency stated on Monday morning that Ramaphosa was not pleased with Mboweni’s comments and that they do not reflect views of the government and the country’s citizens.

Mboweni sent out the controversial tweet on Saturday in which he stated his intentions to mobilise support for Denny Kalyalya, whom he described as a good man. Kalyaya’s removal was announced on Saturday by the Zambian government.

“That governor was a good fella. Why do we do these things as Africans. The president of Zambia must give us the reasons why he dismissed the governor or else hell is on his way. I will mobilise!!” Mobweni wrote to his thousands of twitter followers.

Mboweni, who is also a former governor of the SA Reserve Bank, tweeted on Sunday that his comments might have landed him in trouble, but he maintained his stance on the need for independent central banks.

Mboweni tweeted: “Looks like I am in trouble about my statement on the dismissal of the Bank of Zambia governor. I stand by my statement. Central bank independence is key. Not negotiable. Let all central bankers speak out!”

The presidency stressed that South Africa had a long and strong relationship with Zambia.

“President Ramaphosa wishes to assure the government and people of the Republic of Zambia that the unfortunate remarks do not reflect the views of the South African government and its people. The issue is being addressed to ensure that such an incident does not occur again.

“South Africa and Zambia enjoy strong historical relations dating back to the days of the struggle against apartheid. South Africa remains committed to maintaining the deep and solid bonds of friendship between the peoples of South Africa and Zambia,” the presidency said.

Kalyalya has been replaced by Christopher Mphanza Mvunga, a former deputy finance minister.