MONZE Central UPND member of parliament Jack Mwiimbu has charged that Christopher Mvunga is a PF cadre and does not qualify to be appointed as Bank of Zambia (BOZ) Governor.
But Minister of Fisheries and Livestock Professor Nkandu Luo says it’s unacceptable to belittle and reduce people who are well qualified and educated to nothing.
The duo was debating before Parliament ratified Mvunga’s appointment as BOZ Governor yesterday.
Msanzala PF member of parliament Peter Daka moved a motion, Thursday, of the report of the Parliamentary Select Committee which was appointed to scrutinise the Mvunga’s Presidential appointment.
The motion was seconded by Kantanshi independent member of parliament Anthony Mumba.
Daka said that in scrutinizing the appointment of Mvunga to serve as Governor of the Bank of Zambia, the committee noted that a BOZ Governor plays a crucial role in formulating and implementing monetary and supervisory policies that maintain exchange rate and financial system stability in Zambia.
He said the committee noted with satisfaction that all State security agencies indicated that there were no adverse security concerns against Mvunga, adding that other stakeholders generally submitted that the nominee was suitably qualified.
“In this regard the committee resolved that only a competent person with unquestionable integrity, diligence and sound character should serve the nation as governor of the Bank of Zambia. The committee notes with satisfaction that all the State security agencies indicated that there were no adverse security concerns against the nominee. Additionally, the other stakeholders generally submitted that the nominee was suitably qualified and possessed the requisite experience to be appointed as governor of the Bank of Zambia,” said Daka.
“The committee further observes that the majority of the witnesses described the nominee as a person with a good understanding of the economic trends of the country, a strategic thinker and a team builder. They also submitted that he has the requisite academic qualifications and professional experience to serve as governor of the Bank of Zambia.”
But debating the motion, Mwiimbu said BoZ was one of the most important institutions in Zambia and it therefore needed a person who was acceptable and qualified to lead it.
He, however, charged that according to the PF constitution, for one to ascend to serve the people of Zambia, they must be a party cadre.
“The Bank of Zambia is one of the most important institutions in this country. It therefore follows that whoever is appointed to lead this particular organisation should be a person who is acceptable and qualified to lead the Bank of Zambia, in particular during the financial crisis we are facing. Article 3 of the PF constitution says ‘the party shall ensure that all the public institutions, State-owned enterprises and popular mass and similar organizations are led by persons who are members of the party’. That is one major qualification for you to ascend to serve the people of Zambia, you must be a party cadre according to the PF constitution. It therefore follows Mr Speaker, in my understanding that the first criteria the PF had to consider was that this particular individual we are considering today must be a party cadre. And a cadre who should be uncompromisingly following the views of the PF,” he said.
“This is one very important institution that should be apolitical where we should only consider professionalism as paramount. The Bank of Zambia governor according to them (PF) should be held by a person who is a cadre, this is according to their constitution. Unless they are refusing. That is why most of the institutions in this country are failing because of this particular clause of the PF.”
Mwiimbu charged that it was his considered view that Mvunga did not qualify to be appointed, further accusing him of being a PF cadre.
“Last week, the Minister of Finance issued a letter of intent to defer the payments of the eurobond and other debts that are accruing to the country. The international lenders are looking at who is being appointed as Bank of Zambia governor because this particular individual will be part of the delegation that will be led by the Minister of Finance when negotiating. But when they read that this particular individual is being appointed because he is a cadre of the PF, they will have no confidence in our delegation. And will be doing a disservice to this country. It is my considered view that this person and this individual does not qualify to be appointed,” said Mwiimbu.
In the same vein, Bweengwa UPND member of parliament Kasautu Michelo said Zambia was in trouble with Mvunga’s appointment.
“We are in trouble with this appointment as a country Mr Speaker. There is no way we can appoint such an individual who has never been in a high profile position to manage such an important position. I doubt if he is the right candidate to hold this important position in this country. Even his social behaviour doesn’t allow him to hold such an important position,” charged Michelo.
But Prof Luo, who supported the motion, said Mvunga was an accomplished person who held various qualifications.
She added that Mvunga also held prestigious positions and had been a consultant to many companies and international groups, adding that for them to hire him as a consultant was not a mini achievement.
Prof Luo said it was unacceptable to belittle and reduce people that were well qualified and educated to nothing.
“We come here and belittle our own people that are so well qualified, that are so educated and you reduce them to nothing, I think this is unacceptable. Even the hiding behind international community. Which international community are we talking about? Because this same nominee was educated in various countries, the UK, America, why wouldn’t the international community celebrate their own person that they trained and got high qualifications from their institutions? His exposure both locally and internationally speaks for itself. I think we should not be petty. At the level we are at, we are supposed to provide leadership,” said Prof Luo.
Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo urged Mvunga to settle down and get to work.
“You (Mvunga) are privileged to have a [Finance] Minister who is the former deputy governor at the bank and so the two of you will be equal to the task to ensure that the central bank shapes the economy of this country through the recommended economic recovery plan by the Minister of Finance,” said Kampyongo.
Justice Minister Given Lubinda and Finance Minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu, also supported the motion.
And Serenje MMD member of parliament Maxwell Kabanda in his debate said Mvunga possessed the requisite qualifications in accounting and had brought the wealth of experience as he understood the fiscal policy of PF and the country.
“Contrary to what other people have been saying that Mvunga does not merit the position that has been given to him at the Bank of Zambia, Mvunga is one person who possesses the requisite qualifications in accounting, he is a member of the chartered institute of accounts of the UK. Mvunga has brought a wealth of experience because he understands the fiscal policies of the PF government and this country at large. To say that this government has appointed a cadre to a very important position, I think is a statement that does not merit the position that Mvunga holds at the Bank of Zambia,” said Kabanda.
After the debates, Parliament adopted the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to scrutinise the Presidential appointment of Mvunga to serve as Governor of the Bank of Zambia.