By Miles Sampa
ABOUT CHRIS MVUNGA
By Miles B. Sampa, MP
Patriotic Front (PF) President & APNAC Chairman
January 31st, 2024
The other day social media was awash with the Faith Musonda cash gate story wherein the former Bank of Zambia (BOZ) Governor Chris Mvunga’s name was mentioned as did authorize the cash withdrawal out of the BOZ. Being a corruption scandal cash story that I have never been satisfied on its conclusion, I reposted the story on my page with a note that ” full investigation should be carried out” as in my APNAC mind, I have no sacred cows in the fight against corruption.
I however overlooked a vital aspect on the viral story in that it had no name of who the author was. In hindsight I should have neither reposted the story nor commented on it. Any story written and posted without author’s name and making negative accusation on any citizen need not attract attention as it is the first indication that the writer knows he’s telling lies or simply fabricating. It’s the common modern social media mercenary defamation of rivals by cowards.
It’s the modus operandi of cowards like Emmanuel Mwamba who in the Mvunga story reposted it and with a heading ” Miles Sampa Says Chris Mvunga ….”. Not sure why he does not change his tactics as such has never paid him politically. Sata fired him as PS of Northern Province in 2013 because of constant gossip and defamation of then Ministers and peer PSs. Umulomo kwati mwanakashi. It’s the same legacy he has left at the AU in Addis Ababa when he represented Zambia there before President HH fired him.
As for Chris Mvunga he is actually a very close colleague of mine for years. Anything to do with him, I would actually declare interest not to be involved directly. He is that close. We are both amongst the best former commercial bankers in the country. He worked for Stanbic while I worked for Barclays Bank now ABSA. Our class of then bankers includes astute names like Noel Nkoma, Ngenda Nyambe, Jeff Tembo, Davies Pwele, Clyde Musonda etc etc
Amongst current CEOs of commercial banks in Zambia, only Mizinga Melu (Absa) and Mukwandi Chisebakunda (Zanaco) are in that class of then best bankers mentioned above that includes Chris Mvunga. The other CEOs where actually in one way or another hired or our students during our time in profession of holding and managing money that is not yours but for other people, companies, institutions, government or public.
I would later become a deputy Minister of Finance and then hand over to Keith Mukata who would years later pass on the button to Chris Mvunga. Each time I meet one of them, we always have a big laugh on our experiences at the Ministry of Finance (MOH) and our Ministers then.
I would later become the Mayor of the greater city of Lusaka while Chris Mvunga would be the Bank of Zambia Governor during the same period. Against all odds and usual negative talk upon his appointment, he ended up out performing all expectations. The Kwacha was stable and he also commenced the securing local Gold as part of our Country reserves.
Incidentally it was only over the weekend that on one of my fellow former bankers closed blog (where Chris is not), we were discussing the constant Kwacha depreciations and possible solutions. My first comment to the debate was ” I miss Chris Mvunga as Governor at BOZ. He was the out of the box type of Governor and that’s what our country needs. Of all his theatrics, his performance on fiscal and monetary front was exceptional. “
I stand by this statement now publicly that President HH should consider retiring the current BOZ Governor Dr Danny Kalyalya and replace him with Chris Mvunga. Dr Kalyalya actually taught all of us the art of discipline and compliance in banking careers. He has however played his part and now living beyond ‘sell by date’. He is actually a very good, honest and blameless son of the soil. Meritocracy however demands that anyone not performing or producing results must be asked to excuse themselves. It’s not a secret that the Kwacha has performed its worst last 2 years and remains the biggest dark spot for for the UPND government since took office in 2021.
Numbers don’t lie and they are there for anyone to check what they were in the reign of Chris Mvunga as the BOZ Governor. If not for BOZ, Chris Mvunga can also make a very good Finance Minister. Our beloved senior citizen Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane has also served the nation beyond his ‘ sell by date ‘.