By David Zulu.
Just when Zambians were settling down with the idea that Bill 10 had met its ‘cul – de – sac’, President Edgar Lungu parachuted another elephant in the room in the Zambian national Assembly. The controversial sacking of a popular and internationally adored Reserve Bank Governor Dr Danny Kalyalya, and the appointment of Christopher Mvunga who many critics view as a debutant to the labyrinthine politics of African Central Banks, has presented another ‘bull in the china shop’ to a deeply divided parliament and I must add, a deeply divided nation.
The short history of the Zambian Parliament since the advent of the Patriotic Front government has been that of rubber stamping unpopular decisions sneaked in by the Executive through PF MPs. The appointment of Chris Mvunga at a defining moment of the Zambian economy, which Edgar Lungu himself has since made a public ‘mea – cuppa’ of its dysfunctional state must invoke parliamentary bipartisan and Independents’ solidarity, in refusing to ratify the new appointment for the sake of the people of Zambia.
Mvunga is a PF politically heavily sedated and inclined person who cannot withstand Edgar Lungu’s proverbial ‘tonne of bricks’ politics at a time when the Zambian economy is in the ICU. The insatiable appetite for lavish spending of the PF despite the negative indicators of the fiscal impact analysis cannot be regulated by a Bank Governor that is a political party surrogate like Chris Mvunga.
Even under the One Party State of the First Republic, MPs who belonged to a single party parliament rejected decisions that were inimical to the interests of the Zambian people. Our MPs must for once strive to put the interests of the Zambian citizens ahead of partisanships. Even in an unlikely event that the new Bank Governor is a very competent person, the mere fact of his insider trading as a PF politician undermines his credibility and potency to be an effective umpire over the PF’s financial gerrymandering.
I was awe struck to watch a video of Christopher Mvunga’s family celebrating his appointment in a typical Brazilian Samba dance carnival and typical of the new Governor, champagne flooded the dancing floor. They have every good reason to celebrate this lucrative appointment of their kinsman to the most powerful financial position in Zambia. For Zambian citizens, however, the celebration was like a bizarre Halloween party by a group of happy relatives endorsing the death of an economy that only ten years ago was an example of prudence and growth in the SADC region.