President Edgar Lungu of Zambia has sacked the Governor of the Bank of Zambia, Dr Denny Kalyalya.  In a press statement signed by the Special Assistant to the President on Press and Public Relation, Mr Isaac Chipampe, no reason was given for the termination of Dr. Kalyalya’s appointment.

President Edgar Lungu

However, Zambian insiders are alluding to the principled stand of Dr Kalyalya in refusing the government of President Lungu, and his ruling party, access to the State treasury, ahead of 2021 general elections. Dr Kalyalya is said to have repeatedly told the government to cut spending and restore fiscal disciplines, a stand that has not gone down well with the President and his party.

Dr Denny Kalyalya

Dr Kalyalya, a thorough bred professional who believes in classic central banking came to the job with a long career in both the academia and the finance industry. He took over the reins of the Bank of Zambia in 2015 at a difficult time in the life of the country when the price of copper, the country’s main forex earner was experiencing a free fall.  But he was able to bring the country back on the right macroeconomic track to attract investors to the admiration of Zambia’s development partners.

Dr. Kalyalya joined the Bank of Zambia in 1996 as Economic Adviser but in 1997 he was seconded to the International Monetary Fund as Special Appointee, Monetary and Exchange Affairs.  Beforehis appointment as Governor, Bank of Zambia, he was Executive Director at the World Bank for 22 African Countries. Earlier, Dr. Kalyalya was senior  lecturer in Economics at the University of Zambia where he rose to become the Head, Department of Economics and also Assistant Dean (Post-graduate),  School of Humanities and Social Sciences. He was on various government committees including those of the IMF, World Bank and the Paris Club negotiations, the Donors Consultative Group meetings among others.

Many in Zambia have expressed deep disappointment warning that this development might push the economy that is already in recession further down the deep, while some international watchers observe that such cavalier treatment of professionals remain the bane of sustainable development in Africa. Already, South Africa’s Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni has slammed President Lungu for this unfortunate action.

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