Chibamba Kanyama has not yet agreed to be ZNBC director, may reject offer

Chibamba Kanyama has not yet agreed to be ZNBC director, may reject offer

Chibamba Kanyama

Senior Journalist and economist Chibamba Kanyama has not yet agreed to take over as Director- General of government owned and controlled Zambian National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC).

In its usual chaotic way of doing things, the PF government on Wednesday evening announced that Kanyama is the new puppet master of ZNBC.

Information minister Fackson Shamenda announced at a media briefing in Lusaka that:

“Mr Kanyama is the new Director-General for ZNBC and his appointment is with immediate effect. As we thank Mr Chilaizya, we welcome Mr Kanyama who as you all know is not new to ZNBC and the media fraternity in general, having worked at the national broadcaster for a number of years”.

But the Watchdog has been reliably informed by sources at the ministry and ZNBC that Kanyama has not yet greed to take over from Joe Chilaizya who was fired in less than four months after being hired.

Nothing has been said as to why Joe Chilaizya was fired but the grapevine has it that ‘he became too big headed for the PF leaders’.

Sources explained that Kanyama gave the government conditions for him to move to ZNBC. One of the conditions was that government should request Kanyama’s current employer Sabmiller to second him to ZNBC for one year.

A source said Kanyama was actually shocked to hear that Minister Shamenda made the announcement before his conditions were addressed.

Another source at the ministry revealed that after addressing a press conference, that was when Shamenda and his team went to meet Kanyama to discuss the offer. That was after 17 hours.

But this evening meeting yielded nothing as Kanyama stuck to his earlier conditions.

After failing to agree, Shamenda requested that they meet again next week on Tuesday.

So, as things stand, ZNBC has not director general.

Kanyama is a strong advocate for good corporate governance. It will thus be interesting to see if he will agree to take up a job where a competitive process of selection was disregarded.

No advertisement for the job was made but politicians just sat or phoned each other and agreed to offer him the job.

He could lose the job the same way.

PF Secretary General Wynter Kabimba recently said that only PF cadres will be given such jobs as long as they are qualified.

We are not sure if Kanyama is a PF cadre.

Besides, In October 2011, President Michael Sata reacted sharply to a comment made by Chibamba Kanyama on the need to manage the proposed increase in minimum wages with caution.

Sata called Chibamba a ‘fake’ economist.


Chibamba had a direct entry at the University Of Zambia Department of Mass Communications in 1985/86 academic year. However, his interest for mathematics led him to select economics as an elective. Through senate approval, he later decided to carry an overload of five courses per year so that he could have as many economic courses as mass communications. He graduated with 20 courses instead of 16 in the four year period. Among the economic courses studied were Introduction to Economics, Economic theory, International Economics- International Trade Theory, Money, Banking and Public Finance, Development Economics, Transport Economics and his lecturers included Dr. Mwikisa, Alast Mwanza (late), Prof. Manenga Ndulo, Prof. Seshamani, Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane and Dr. Abraham Mwenda.

In 1998/1999, Chibamba enrolled at UNZA for an MA in Economics and was accepted. He did one year study (covering Development Economics, Econometrics, and Macro-economic Theory) lectured by Prof. Seshamane, Dr. Mwanawina and Prof Ndulo. Before undertaking the research component of the course, he received a Chevening Scholarship to study in the UK. He was accepted at three Universities- Cardiff for an MBA, University of Manchester for MA Economics and University of Reading for MSc Development Finance. Chibamba chose the latter. Development Finance is more or less an expansion of Money, Banking and Public Finance and he graduated as top student in Development Finance programme.


Chibamba was the National Secretary of the Economic Association of Zambia (EAZ) for a two year period before standing down in 2008. It was during his time at EAZ he became a strong voice on economic commentary. The media coined the term ‘economist’; others referring to him as ‘prominent Lusaka Economist’. Reuters has particularly referred to him as ‘economist’ and he has remained a regular source of commentary on many issues affecting the Zambian economy.

In 1999, Chibamba authored two training manuals for SADC journalists on behalf of the Nordic-SADC Journalism Centre (NSJ) initially based in Mozambique. The two training manuals are ‘Reporting the National Economy’ and ‘Business Reporting’. It was through this arrangement Chibamba was the core-trainer of economic and business reporting courses for NSJ programmes between 1999 and 2008. He has trained over 600 economic and business reporting in SUB-Saharan Africa. He also retained as facilitator of African business journalists in 1999 by the World Bank Institute.

In 1998, Chibamba was hired by University of Cape Town economist and consultant, Prof. Barry Standish to be the lead country economic consultant for Sun Hotels. He worked together with prominent economist Dr. Mweene Mwiinga to produce the document that facilitated the investments in Livingstone, Zambia.

His two books, Business Values for Our Time and Achievement Values for Young Adults are his latest addition to the world of economics and business.


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