By Hakainde Hichilema
“What has happened at BOZ is like replacing an experienced heart surgeon with a mechanic, in the middle of heart surgery”.
The PF is at it again with its typical hallmark of failure in upholding the tenets of sound economic management and good governance. The dismissal of the Governor of the Bank of Zambia, Dr. Denny Kalyalya is another sad development in our country’s history, and it couldn’t have come at such a critical time, when the nation is facing enormous economic challenges, and uncertainties.
We can tell you without doubt, that the IMF will stop engaging with Zambia, not only because of poor fiscal policies but also because of the credibility of the new Bank of Zambia Governor. BOZ under Dr. Kalyalya has behaved professionally and has been managed with a firm and transparent standpoint. With the IMF leaving us to sort out our own mess, the next likely group will be our creditors who will start demanding their pound of flesh. Then the kwacha will follow, in free fall.
Secondly, Government has just shown that it is hell bent on undermining the BOZ, which has remained steadfast in ensuring the economy continues to function within acceptable benchmarks. The efforts made by Bank of Zambia on monetary policy adjustments is well documented. While Kalyalya was busy forestalling a free fall of the Kwacha against major currencies, Bwalya Ng’andu, on the fiscal side, was busy fighting him by introducing strange measures and contracting new debt.
A Central Bank, in any country, is a very important institution that requires professionalism and competence to reign. It is also important that the CEO of the Central Bank is protected by the law from political interference, like this one action that has just been executed by Mr Edgar Lungu. There are no prizes for guessing why Kalyalya was fired. Put simply, the man was professional, ethical and above board.
Various public statements he made on the condition of the economy, underscores the fact that he was forthright, prudent and foresighted. In now what has become the PF’s modus operandus, anyone who behaves ethically and professionally is kicked out.
At this point, one can only warn the Zambian public to brace for hard times ahead. The kwacha will devalue further, subsequently sending prices skyrocketing due to the rising cost of doing business. Further, jobs will be lost because the economy will further contract, probably end at a worse position than the projected minus 5.5% growth.
However with all this gloom in our midst, we would like to assure Zambians that come 2021, the economy will be firmly back on track. Do your bit, we shall do ours.