Denny Kalyalya has bounced back as Bank of Zambia Governor after he was fired by former President Edgar Lungu in August last year.
According to a press statement released to the media by President Hakainde Hichilema’s special assistant for Press and Public relations Anthony Bwalya, the president has. with immediate effect appointed Dr Denny Kalyalya as Bank of Zambia Governor in line with Article 214 of the Constitution of Zambia.
In the same statement, State House announced the appointment Mr Mulilo Dimas as Attorney General and Mr Marshal Mubambe Muchende as Solicitor General.
Last year in August Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Saturday summarily dismissed central bank governor Denny Kalyalya and replaced him with former deputy finance minister Christopher Mphanza Mvunga, a statement from State House said.
“President Lungu has terminated the contract of Bank of Zambia governor Dr Denny Kalyalya with immediate effect,” said the statement, which did not provide reasons for the dismissal.
Kalyalya, who previously served as a World Bank executive director, was appointed in February 2015 and had his contract extended in 2018 until 2023.
His dismissal came barely three days after the central bank had cut its benchmark lending rate by 125 basis points to 8.0% to try to safeguard financial sector stability and protect livelihoods in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Lungu received widespread condemnation for firing Dr Kalyalya at the time.
“There is no real motive here, there is no rationale to this decision,” said Trevor Simumba. “It is something that has shocked everyone. It is very much a political decision.”
Mr Kalyalya “was just doing his job,” Mr Simumba said. But the president wants a pliant central bank ahead of next year’s election, he said. “The economy is on its knees, it is at rock bottom right now,” Mr Simumba added. Mr Kalyalya’s term had been due to end in 2023. Mr Mvunga’s appointment is subject to parliamentary approval.
The sacking was also criticised by Tito Mboweni, the South African former finance minister and former governor of the South African Reserve Bank, in tweets that later led President Cyril Ramaphosa to issue an official reprimand.
“Presidents in Africa must stop this nonsense of waking up in the morning and fire a central bank governor,” Mr Mboweni said. Mr Ramaphosa said on Monday that the comments were “unfortunate” and “the issue is being addressed to ensure that such an incident does not occur again”.