By Richard Aaron Ngoma

The sacking of the internationally respected Zambian Central Bank Governor Dr Danny Kalyalya by President Edgar Lungu a month ago, has predictably began to register a negative outlook on the performance of the Zambian economy, as investor confidence plummets into the icy gully. Zambian economic sources fear the investors are taking the sacking as a replication of late Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s dismissal of the Reserve Bank Head, an action that resulted into hyperinflation and eventual collapse of that nation’s currency.

The unceremonious firing of Kalyalya triggered the slump of the Zambian Eurobonds and the Kwacha, as foreign investors held back investment decisions to observe the level of independence of the new BOZ Governor Christopher Mvunga, and the amount of respect he overally commanded on the Zambian economy.

President Lungu belatedly appointed Deputy Governor – operations Dr Francis Chipimo as acting Governor as Mvunga awaited a partisan ratification by parliament, where Lungu’s ruling party holds a majority.

According to economic experts inside Bank of Zambia and the Ministry of Finance, the only way to salvage the little investor confidence remaining and move the limping economy forward, would be for President Edgar Lungu to appoint Dr Francis Chipimo in the place of what many view as a politically inclined Christopher Mvunga.

Sources discuss of an ongoing intense lobbying by a cross section of prominent Zambians, economics and financial managers as well as foreign investors to Zambian parliamentarians, to put their country first by refusing to ratify Christopher Mvunga as the Central Bank Governor and instead advise Lungu to confirm Dr Francis Chipimo as the new head of Bank of Zambia.

Meanwhile, government and BOZ sources reveal that the PF intends to raid the Central Bank vaults to satisfy their insatiable appetite for cash that they want to splash for the 2021 Presidential election campaigns, which President Edgar Lungu wants to win by whatever means possible.

The sources who spoke on condition their identities were not revealed for fear of reprisals, said the PF intends to use soiled notes withdrawn from circulation as a result of over usage, and destined for incineration and subsequent replacement for campaigns and by elections, that they hope will buy them popularity and an eventual win in 2021. Such a system would spell further trouble for an already troubled currency and would be equivalent to printing more Kwacha that is averse to economic activity.


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