Zambian Central Bank Governor Mvunga Quits After Opposition Win

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Zambia’s central bank governor Christopher Mvunga quit just over a year into the job, following opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema’s election victory last month. 

Hichilema named Francis Chipimo, the deputy governor, to act in the position, the presidency said in an emailed statement Tuesday. 

Mvunga’s August 2020 appointment drew criticism as he was seen to be a close ally of then-President Edgar Lungu. The International Monetary Fund responded at the time by urging central bank independence and credibility. Zambia is seeking a $1.3 billion economic program from the fund, and an independent central bank will be critical in securing the financing.

Hichilema also dismissed Fredson Yamba, secretary to the treasury, replacing him with Felix Nkulukusa. He named Paul Kabuswe as Mines Minister, who will be tasked with carrying out the new government’s plans to smooth relations with the industry and more than double the nation’s copper production over the next five years.

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