CiSCA Statement on Appointment of Mr. Christopher Mvunga as Bank of Zambia Governor
Lusaka, 25 August 2020: The Civil Society Constitution Agenda (CiSCA) is as perplexed as many others in Zambia that have expressed grave misgivings on the suitability of Mr. Christopher Mvunga as Bank of Zambia Governor.
Even as we appreciate that the President exercised his constitutional powers to appoint Mr. Mvunga, and as much as we acknowledge that Mr. Mvunga meets the minimum qualifications as outlined in Article 214 of our Constitution, we are extremely apprehensive about the suitability of Mr. Mvunga as Chief Executive Officer of our Central Bank. We contend that Dr. Denny Kalyalya’s dismissal and Mr. Mvunga’s appointment is President Lungu’s continued destruction of state institutions starting with the Anti-Corruption Commission and now the central bank.
It is a no brainer that our economy is in a comatose state and a critical economic institution such as the Central Bank needs to be led by a highly competent and respected individual who commands both national and international respect, and definitely not one whose only suitability is being amenable and malleable to PF’s machinations. A Central Bank Governor should not only be independent but should also be seen to be independent. Mr. Mvunga’s independence is questionable because he is a politically aligned whose allegiance will primarily be to his political sponsors.
When juxtaposed, Dr. Kalyalya’s CV not only surpasses Mr. Mvunga on academic, professional qualifications and experience, but he also beats him in sobriety of character and public standing. How then is Mr. Mvunga expected to perform better than Dr. Kalyalya? The backlash from the appointment demonstrates that Mr. Mvunga is taking up a position that the public thinks he is not the best fit for. We further contend that there are easily at least 50 Zambians who are better qualified, have sober rock-solid temperaments with formidable national and international track records that can replace Dr. Kalyalya if he absolutely had to go.
Further, appointing someone to a position requiring ratification by Parliament when Parliament is on recess is wrong and ultra vires to Constitutional procedures. We earnestly appeal to MPs to exercise the doctrine of separation of powers and as the people’s direct representatives, reject Mr. Mvunga’s appointment in the same way parliament refused to ratify the appointment of Judge Lombe Chibesakunda as Chief Justice.
CiSCA Vice Chairperson