PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu’s decision to dismiss Dr Denny Kalyalya as Bank of Zambia (BoZ) governor was callous and lacked human consideration, says former secretary to the cabinet Dr Sketchely Sacika.
And Dr Sacika has lamented that President Lungu denied Dr Kalyalya a befitting and dignified exit from the central bank by dismissing him like a mere office orderly or politician without any justification.
In an interview, Dr Sacika said he was shocked by President Lungu’s abrupt dismissal of Dr Kalyalya.
“I was shocked at the young man’s dismissal; I have always known him to be a professional man of quality. President Lungu should respect the humanity of others; the exercise of Executive powers without regard to how it is going to impact on the lives of others is abuse of power, and the President should not do that. The President’s decision to dismiss Kalyalya was callous and lacked human consideration. As a result of this dismissal, Kalyalya’s future is now under a very dark cloud. Kalyalya is still a young man with many years still left in him to contribute to society, but who will be willing to hire a person who was dismissed at such a high-level of public service? Nobody can give him a chance anymore,” Dr Sacika argued.
“I served in government at a very high-level and it is an unwritten rule that when you are dealing with matters of separation at the highest level of public service, you should always provide a safe landing for a person being separated so that they do not damage their future prospects. Kalyalya is not a politician; in politics, you can dismiss your ministers as you wish, but the young man is a professional whose professional integrity has to be safeguarded. Kalyalya is putting up a brave face, but strictly speaking, he’s a destroyed man! His reputation and standing in society are all destroyed. This could have been avoided if President Lungu had acted with a sense of humanity towards the young man.”
Dr Sacika also noted that the underperformance of the country’s economy should not be blamed on one person, but on the PF’s poor economic policies.
“Our economy is in serious difficulties because it is not productive; too many of our able-bodied young men and women have no jobs, they are roaming the streets. So, how can you have an economy where able-bodied people cannot participate in the economy? Our economy is like an under-fed cow, which is producing less and less milk for a population, which is growing and only very few people can have access to the milk…I don’t know why Denny was dismissed, but let me say that the responsibility to determine economic policy and to manage the economy rests with the government. In our order of things, the person responsible for the economy is the Minister of Finance (Dr Bwalya Ng’andu). Now, if the economic policy of the government is poor, the economy will collapse and there is nothing a central bank governor can do about it,” he said.
“The PF government’s populist economic policies have only succeeded in creating a debt crisis, which is threatening to sink our country into more difficulties. Once again, Zambia has become highly-indebted and instead of supporting social and economic development, our tax money is going towards paying debts. As a result, government services are collapsing. The Social Cash Transfer scheme for the aged has collapsed and all this is due to poor management of the economy by the government; it cannot be attributed to one man. My concern is that young professionals are treated like office orderlies, who can be dismissed easily. In future, Zambian professionals will be reluctant to take up high positions in government. Kalyalya was recruited as Governor of the Bank from the World Bank where he enjoyed a very high status.”
And Dr Sacika insisted that Dr Kalyalya was not accorded a dignified exit from his position.
“In my opinion, Kalyalya should have been given a safe, dignified exit by appointing him to another government position just to soften the impact of his removal, that is what happens in government. I remember my boss, comrade KK, that’s what he always did; if he wanted to remove somebody from a certain position, he either promoted him to a lesser, demanding position or sent them into foreign service to lessen the impact of their removal, and that’s what President Lungu should have done, instead of kicking out Kalyalya like an office orderly,” said Dr Sacika.
“There was absolutely no reason to remove him that urgently. If President Lungu was unhappy with his performance, the best thing he could have done was to allow Kalyalya to complete his term of office by completing his term of contract. And there was just a big, dark cloud surrounding the circumstances leading up to Kalyalya’s dismissal and I understand his contract was renewed not so long ago. So, what was the point of getting rid of him? Why didn’t President Lungu allow the contract to continue? It’s unheard of that a President can dismiss a Governor of the Bank in the manner that Kalyalya was dismissed, I don’t know the circumstances, but the whole thing is wrong, totally uncalled-for and unacceptable conduct on the part of the President.”