Wednesday, June 19, 2024

BOZ Governor and Deputies Gets Protection, they can’t be fired without valid reasons

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President Hakainde Hichilema has signed into law a new legislation that will protect the Central Bank Governor and his deputies from being fired without valid reasons.

The new law – Bank of Zambia (BOZ) Act No. 5 of 2022 – will require the President to setup a three-man tribunal headed by Judge or former Judge to probe any allegations leveled against the Bank of Zambia (BOZ) Governor or his deputies before being sacked from their positions.

“The President shall remove the Governor or Deputy Governor from office if the tribunal recommends to the President that the Governor or Deputy Governor should be removed,” reads section 13(7) of the Act.

Other two members of the tribunal should be persons with knowledge and experience in the field of central banking or economics, finance, law or any other field that is related to Central bank.

Unlike in the past where President could fire the Governor without reasons, the new law states that Governor and his deputies can only be sacked for “gross misconduct, incompetent, bankrupt” or if he is convicted and imprisoned for a term of not less than six months.

In short, the Governor and his deputies have been given security of tenure like that of the judges and the DPP so that they can perform their functions without interference.

My personal view, though, is that Deputy Governors should not have been given the security of tenure but only Governor as they report to their boss. What if the boss and his deputies don’t get alone? Or Deputy refuse to carry out instruction of the boss?

The new BOZ Act came into effect few weeks ago following the assent by President Hakainde. The law was recently unanimously passed in Parliament and was only waiting for the presidential assent to become law.

The new BOZ Act has also put the tenure of office of the Governor as six years, which will be renewable for further term of six years.

The passing of this law follows the Constitution amendment of 2016, which among other things, restricted the position of Governor to few professionals. Under Article 214 of the Constitution, only person who is an economist, banker, accountant, finance or lawyer or a field related to banking can be appointed Governor of BOZ.

The new law has replaced the 1996 BOZ Act and it looks progressive and has interesting and innovative provisions that will enhance the performance and independence of the bank.

With these new amendments, politicians will have difficulties to interfere with the operations of the bank.

19 COMMENTS

    • Can we then advertise the jobs to get the right persons now who should be protected by this new law? The current ones cannot be protected now as they deserve dismissal in line with old law under which they were hired.

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  1. Nothing to write home about here. As long it’s the president setting up the tribunal, it still won’t provide that security of tenure. He will appoint his cronies and still direct them to action in his favor.

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  2. There should also be a provision that obliges the president to appoint someone with integrity and appropriate academic qualifications and experience. I do not like mentioning names but Christopher Mvunga was not only ill equipped academically but he also lacked relevant experience and the alcoholic *****’s social life was a mess! Of all the Reserve Bank Governors Zambia has ever had, he was the least qualified. He was a laughing stock in the region because the ***** was just plain blank regarding any monetary or fiscal policies. One wonders what manner of Whisky Chagwa had swallowed the night before the appointed that fool for governor.

  3. Even the Chief Justice, DPP, AG or judges have the same immunity. But the mantle is on the president to make it for who ever they are firing as legal as possible. Do you remember how it was difficult to fire Milingo Lungu from his post of KCM liquidator until the Executive tricked him to resign? It worked. Even the BOZ governor is that susceptible.
    In effect, the only person who can not be retired is Madame Mutale Nalumango.

  4. This is a very progress law. How on earth would you remove a professional Governor and replace him with a playboy, such an important institution? Common guys!

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  5. I smell a rat. A big rat. The media have been crying for such a law to protect their CEOs since 1991 and its never entertained. Znbc daily mail and times need this protection. This previously fired governor is brought back to his previous job and is hurriedly, very hurriedly protected by law by the very president who is dilly dallying about the presidential defamation law. Nepotism is infiltrating governance of the people

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  6. Let the constitution allow an independent body, comprising of different academician,be allowed to appoint corporate executives. They person to be appointed should go through interviews to be conducted by Zambia Human Resource Practitioners, This will enhance objectivity and integrity. This issue of allowing the president to appoint directors and other senior government officials undermines the spirit of corporate governance. No wonder the president has the audacity of summoning Directors to a kangaroo meeting and castigate them. Because he knows that they have to toll a political line or they are fired. It is very retrogressive.

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