The Bank of Zambia (BoZ) will ‘honour’ indisposed president Michael Sata and all former Heads of State by incorporating their portraits on a commemorative banknote to be issued in October this year.
BoZ says this is part of the golden jubilee celebrations to be held on October 24, 2014. There has always been a plan by PF to put Sata and Kenneth Kaunda’s faces on the bank notes and coins. It was supposed to be the most prominent feature during the rebasing of the Kwacha but the PF sensed from public comments that the idea is disgusting to most Zambians.
Late president Chiluba discarded the idea of putting faces of presidents on bank notes to maintain neutrality in a politically divided county and to avoid politicising even the physical money.
But Bank of Zambia governor Michael Gondwe announced on Wednesday evening at the BoZ 50th Golden Jubilee gala dinner in Lusaka that the bank would honour President Sata, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, late Dr Frederick Chiluba, late Dr Levy Mwanawasa and Mr Rupiah Banda.
Zambia has had five Republican President in the 50 years it has been independent, with Dr Kaunda as the first one having ruled from 1964 until 1991 when Dr Chiluba took over.
As third President, Dr Mwanawasa ruled Zambia from 2001 until his death in 2008 when Mr Banda took over.
Mr Banda lost the elections to Sata in 2011 and the country has since slid into chaos with Sata leading a nepotistic regime
Dr Gondwe explained that the Central Bank would incorporate the portraits of Mr Sata and those of the four former Presidents on a commemorative banknote to be issued in celebration of Zambia’s 50th Independence anniversary.
As part of 50th anniversary, the Central Bank on Wednesday launched a bimetallic coin with a face value of K50, bearing the portrait of President Sata.
“The coin bears the Coat of Arms which is Zambia’s national symbol with the wording ‘Zambia’ and face value of fifty kwacha on the obverse side while the reverse side bears the portrait of the incumbent President with the wording ‘Bank of Zambia 50th anniversary’ and the commemoration period 1964-2014,” Dr Gondwe explained.