A Lesson Unlearnt – Zambia On the Path to Zimbabwe-Like Ruin

Despite the example of neighbouring Zimbabwe’s economic collapse over the last 25 years, Zambian President Edgar Lungu is apparently intent on his country relearning this maths lesson.

The diplomatic brouhaha over SA Finance Minister’s Tito Mboweni’s comments about Zambian President Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s firing of Reserve Bank Governor Denny Kalyalya obscures a bigger issue.

For the record, Mboweni took to Twitter to say: “Presidents in Africa must stop this nonsense of waking up in the morning and fire a Central Bank Governor! You cannot do that. This is not some fiefdoms of yours! Your personal property?! No!”

He has since been reprimanded for going too far by South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The bigger issue is that you can’t change the rules of arithmetic.

Despite the example of neighbouring Zimbabwe’s economic collapse over the past 25 years, Lungu was apparently intent on his country relearning this maths lesson. And it will inevitably do so, at great economic and social cost, the responsibility for which Lungu’s government will habitually try to wriggle out of.

Lungu needs a central bank governor who will not hesitate to print money.

Kalyalya, who holds a PhD from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst)…

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