The Deputy National Secretary of the Economic Association of Zambia (EAZ), Rita Mkandawire, has jumped to the defend of Zambia’s Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe after recent comments by economic commentators like Trevor Simumba that she should be replaced.
In a statement released to the media, Ms Mkandawire said that the Minister of Finance is both academically and professionally fit to be in that position, and that as Finance Minister, Mrs Mwanakatwe has instilled fiscal discipline with the country reducing on the amount of contractor financed projected by 90%.
Ms Mkandawire advised Mr Simumba, as a citizen, to write to the Republican President citing reasons, if he thinks the minister is not performing.
Below is the full statement
MWANAKATWE IS FIT AND COMPETENT ENOUGH TO BE FINANCE MINISTER – WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP SHOULD BE PROTECTED FROM UNFAIR ATTACKS
BY RITA MKANDAWIRE
DEPUTY NATIONAL SECRETARY OF THE EAZ
It is quiet disheartening to see the level of attacks by economic commentators like Trevor Simumba who have continuously undermined the credibility of our Member of EAZ who also happens to be the Minister responsible for finance.
I believe that we have the right to express our opinions but those opinions should not affect the image our country. Mr Trevor has indicated that he wants to stand as MP in 2021. He should therefore make it known that his opinions are politically biased because we want to avoid him giving opinions that can mislead those investors that pick information on Zambia from secondary sources.
The Minister of Finance is both academically and professionally fit to be in that position. What we find worrying is that Mr Simumba seems to lobby the position for other people in public which is ethically incorrect. By mentioning names of other people, he is exposing their motives or at least painting a picture that those people are using him to lobby for jobs in government.
I challenge Mr Simumba to reveal the three banks that called him after seeing the interview with Bloomberg. Information we have is that everyone in Washington (investors) are very happy with the minister that is why they continue holding Zambian assets.
I advise Mr Simumba to come out clean on why he has picked on Hon Mwanakatwe as if she has been finance minister since 1964. A bit of statistics will reveal that she as finance minister has instilled fiscal discipline with the country reducing on the amount of contractor financed projected by 90%.
As Minister of Finance, she cannot respond to things people say about her because she understands that her words can alter investor behavior.
I therefore advise Mr Simumba to write advisory notes to the President or the Minister herself if he has ideas he feels should be taken on board. If he thinks a minister is not performing, he as a citizen can write to the Republican President citing reasons. The Head of State as the appointing authority can make an independent decision without being pushed. As a consultant, Mr Simumba understands this process therefore I find it as cheap politicking his remarks. Women should be protected in this country.
The idea of calling fellow civil servants at the ministry of finance as being cowards and calling the minister incompetent is not good for the image of the country especially that we hold Mr Simumba the professional in high esteem. Mr Simumba the politician however is being unfair to the economy’s imagine by labeling those entrusted to handle economic affairs incompetent.
It should be noted that the Minister of Finance has Permanent Secretaries, main stream civil servants, the Bank of Zambia, ZIPAR and other insitutions that provide sound economic advice. How is it possible that only Mr Simumba and Dolika Banda are qualified?
The following are some of her achievements:
1) BA Business Administration
2) FCCA (UK)
Experienced manager with a successful track record at top management level in the private and public sectors and in local and international organisations. Minister Mwanakatwe possesses strong and effective communications skills with the ability to establish and maintain effective relationships and strategic alliances with key players in the private and public sectors, government and international organisations. She has strong people skills and is able to communicate effectively at all levels.
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE/EMPLOYMENT HISTORY
1) 2015 to Feb 2018, Minister of Commerce Trade and Industry
2) 2009 to 2011, CEO United Bank for Africa (UBA) East and Southern Africa
3) 2005 to 2008, Managing Director, Barclays Bank of Ghana Limited
4) 2000 to 2005, Managing Director, Barclays Bank of Zambia Limited – in charge of ensuring that Barclays Bank of Zambia performed according to all group policies, and Governance requirements in implementing the Barclays Africa Strategy in Zambia. Extensive transformation programme which repositioned the bank and built it into a more robust model in readiness for the economic challenges in Zambia. She implemented the transformation programme to build the bank of tomorrow.
5) 1998 – 2000: Director General, Zambia Investment Promotion Agency [Chief Executive/Executive Director, Zambia Investment Centre Support Services Limited].
6) 1996 – 1998: Director, Business & Investor Relations Division Zambia Investment Promotion Agency Lusaka Zambia.
7) 1995 – 1996: General/Finance Manager, Polypackers Limited.
1992 – 1994: Course Director, Maxims European Institute of Learning, Paris, France. In this position I was in charge of developing, preparing and delivery of the whole financial management and financial accounting syllabi for 2nd and 3rd year degree programs. She was also in charge of the delivery of the same subjects on the MBA programme.
9) 1992 – 1992: Assistant Financial Controller, Sedgewick James (UK) Limited, Witham, Essex.
10) 1990 – 1991: Management Accountant, McDonnell Douglas Information Systems Ltd, Woking, Surrey, United Kingdom.
11) 1988 – 1989: Financial Analyst, Whitbread Plc, Dorking- Surrey, United Kingdom.
1) Ghana President’s Advisory Council, President John Kuffour – Investment policies and the creation of a thriving economy and efficient public sector.
2) Uganda’s President’s Advisory Investor Round Table by President Museveni whilst she was in Uganda working for United Bank of Africa.
3) British American Tobacco – Past Board Member
4) Zambia Sugar Plc – Past Board Member
5) Nico Insurance Zambia Limited – Past Board Member
6) Unilever Africa Advisory Council – Past Board Member
7) Barclays Bank of Zambia Plc – Past Board Member
Zambia Venture Capital Fund – Past Board Member
9) UBA Bank, Zambia/Uganda – Past Board Member
10) Aureos Capital, Southern Agric Private Equity Fund Investment – Committee Member
11) Zambia Revenue Authority, Past Board Member
12) Munda Wanga Botanical & Zoological Gardens, Past Chairperson
13) National Aids Council of Zambia, Past Chairperson
14) Zambia Business Coalition for HIV/AIDS, Past Chairperson
15) Bankers Association of Zambia, Past Chairperson
16) Forest Wildlife & Human Development Association (FWHDA), Patron